An Israeli lawyer, Lela tsemel denounced the treatment of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel on Tuesday (7 June).
An Israeli lawyer, Lela tsemel denounced the treatment of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel on Tuesday (7 June). Miss Tsemel was speaking at a news conference in Paris.
SYNOPSIS: The conference was organised by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. It was part of a publicity campaign Miss Tsemel has been staging in Germany, Switzerland and England.
She told reporters that Palestinians living in Israel were being stripped of their civil liberties. It had become customary, she said, for Arabs residing in the occupied territories to be arrested and held in prison for indefinite periods without charges. Miss Tsemel also claimed many prisoners had been tortured. These statements come soon after the Israeli general election win of right-wing leader Menachem Begin. For many in the Arab world his name is synonymous with terror, dating from when he headed the Irgun Zvai Leumi, a guerrilla force which fought British rule in Palestine in the 1940's. Since his election, Mr Begin has said that he intends to extend Israeli settlement along the West Bank of the River Jordan. He refers to the occupied area as being "liberated Jewish territory". Many Palestinians had hoped that the forthcoming negotiated ??? settlement would liberate them from the Israeli rule but the election results have placed doubts on that.
Mr Begin and his Likud party are opposed to setting up a mini-state in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza strip. According to Israelis, Arab living standards have improved by more than 50 per cent in the past ten years and employment has nearly doubled because of the annual trade that has grown up between the West Bank and Israel. But many young Arab students say Israel has created a virtual police state in the area, expelling 1,100 Palestinians, jailing 3,000 others and pushing thousands off their land. Whether the new Israeli leader will make life tougher on the West Bank remains to be seen, but there is no doubt resentment is growing.