Ben-Gvir’s Police are Arresting Innocent Arabs, Adalah

Leading Hadash member, Dr. Yousef Jabareen, a legal expert and former MK, said that “The continued wave of arrests being carried out by [National Security Minister Itamar] Ben-Gvir’s police over the past few weeks has been targeted against Arab youth, specifically students, and constitutes a system of intimidation and suppression.” The news site Kul al-Arab quoted Dr. Jabareen as saying that the arrests have no legal basis and are part of a crusade of suppression against Arab communities, based on “incitement” by right-wing authorities who are taking advantage of the current state of emergency in Israel.

Former Hadash MK Dr. Yousef Jabareen (left) and Adalah’s General Director, Dr. Hassan Jabareen during a High Court session, June 2021 (Photo: Adalah)

He claims that the crusade and the permission given by courts to conduct it, based on requests by the police and prosecution, have no precedent in matters of freedom of speech and publication on social media, and are considered to be targeting legitimate peaceful activities.

Dr. Jabareen blames the police for using the law against terrorism, and specifically the section dealing with identifying with a terrorist organization or incitement to terrorist activity, to justify the arrests, despite the fact that the law does not apply to the current reality and that the publications do not include any supporting, encouraging, or identification with terrorism.

According to the civil rights organization Adalah, from October 7 November 13, 251 Arabs were arrested, interrogated or received “warning talks” from police officers; 76 indictments were filed against Arab-Palestinians citizens of Israel and residents in occupied East Jerusalem and in each one included a request for extended detention until the end of legal proceedings.

In the majority of the cases, the indictments included accusations of supporting or identifying with a terrorist organization, according to section 24a of the Law of the Fight Against Terror and accusations of incitement to terrorism according to section 24b of the same law.

According Adalah, Israeli authorities have accused dozens of individuals of “supporting terrorist organizations” or engaging in “incitement to terrorism” for planning protests and expressing their opinions on social media platforms. The posts, interactions, and other means of expression largely fall within the rights protected by freedom of expression. The speech includes opposition to the targeting of civilians in Gaza, expressions of sympathy for the Palestinian people in Gaza, opposition to collective punishment and war crimes, and the dissemination of news about Gaza.

Adalah’s legal team cooperates with the High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel and its Emergency Committee, as well as with lawyers, popular committees and partner NGOs in many towns and villages to monitor and document rights violations and to represent Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel facing these criminal charges.

The full Adalah report in English: