As Israel considers adopting the death sentence for Palestinians, it is worth recalling that under occupation, Palestinians already face harsh injustice and that such a law would be illegal according to international law. The examples of Elor Azaria’s 9-month prison term for killing an unarmed, injured Palestinian at point-blank range, and Ahed Tamimi’s 8-month sentence for slapping an IDF soldier, indicate that the Israeli “justice” system is already severely lopsided.
Addameer Prisoner Support reports that over 1,300 Palestinians were arrested in the first two months of 2018; 274 of these were children, bringing the total number of Palestinians in Israeli jails to 6,500; 350 of these were children. Among the most pressing issues in the Israeli prison system are torture and strip searches.
Israeli forces “arrested” an estimated 590 Palestinians in January, including 128 Palestinian children, 14 women, a journalist, and a Palestinian parliament member. In total, there are now 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons. (These “arrests” are different than what most Americans understand the term to mean. Those doing the “arresting” are not the society’s police force enforcing the population’s laws. The “arrests” are perpetrated by Israeli forces occupying Palestinian land.)