Profile of a Rogue State
by Stephen Lendman
Israel and America both commit crimes of war and against humanity.
America's unmatched globally. However, pound for pound, based on size, its policies and regional threat, Israel stands out.
Daily, its crimes against humanity continue. On January 23, Jerusalem police arrested two Palestinian officials, Khaled Abu Arafeh and Mohammed Totah.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said both men were wanted for unspecified "Hamas activities" with no further comment.
Hamas, of course, is Palestine's legitimate government. Israel and America spuriously call it a terrorist organization. Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Masri said arresting both men was a "Zionist crime." Palestine's parliament hasn't functioned since Hamas and Fatah split in 2007.
Both men were arrested at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Sheikh Jarrah offices. For the past 18 months, they sought refuge there protesting Israel's illegal deportation orders after their ID cards were revoked.
Abu Arafah served as Hamas minister for Jerusalem affairs. Totah's a Hamas PLC representative. Months earlier, Hamas legislator Mahmoud Atoun was arrested. He also sought ICRC refuge.
Hamas parliamentarians are repeatedly targeted. Around two dozen remain imprisoned. Twenty are uncharged under administrative detention. At one time, 40 Hamas PLC members were lawlessly incarcerated for belonging to the wrong party, not any crimes they committed.
On January 19, Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Aziz Dweik was arrested for alleged terrorist connections. Despite a thinly veiled lie, a military court on January 24 ordered him detained uncharged for six months.
On January 20, lawmaker Khaled Tafesh was arrested and detained at Ofer Prison.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) condemned Israel's actions. It called them "a plan to undermine the results of the (January 2006) Palestinian legislative elections (and) to abort the Palestinian reconciliations efforts."
PCHR also called them Fourth Geneva-prohibited collective punishment. It demanded immediate release of those held, strongly condemned storming ICRC's office, and said doing so violated international humanitarian law.
Israel falsely claimed ICRC's office has no diplomatic status, making it fair game for Israeli lawlessness.
Israel's War on Hamas