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Rights of Demonstrators in Palestine

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Rights of Demonstrators in Palestine

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Israel violates Palestinian rights with impunity.

by Stephen Lendman

Last September, the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) published an "Informational Pamphlet for Demonstrators in the Occupied Territories."

It provided "coping strategies." Free societies permit peaceful demonstrations. They also allow free expression. In Occupied Palestine, Israel prohibits both. Doing so violates fundamental international law.

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Since 1967, Israeli decreed all rallies and demonstrations illegal without express permit permission. According to ACRI:

"The sweeping ban on the organization of demonstrations, the unreasonable restrictions placed upon them, and the forced dispersal of quiet and peaceful demonstrations - which are all practiced in the West Bank -- represent a serious and severe infringement on the right to demonstrate and on freedom of speech, as well as a clear violation of the rules of international law that are incumbent on the occupying power."

Coping strategies help Palestinians and others handle Israeli persecution.

Military repression governs Occupied Palestine. The Order Regarding Prohibition of Incitement and Hostile Propaganda Actions (Order No. 101) prohibits 10 or more persons assembling in one place publicly for politically related purposes.

Doing so requires permit permission. Larger rallies are called "illegal assemblies." Violent security force confrontations disperse them. Doing so violates international law.

Force is only justified if legitimate security risks or public safety concerns exist. Maintaining law and order is proper. Exceeding appropriate authority constitutes abuse of power.

Crowd Control: What's permitted, what's prohibited?

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Legitimately dispersing demonstrations requires doing it nonviolently with "minimal use of force." Anything harmful or threatening is prohibited.

Under appropriate circumstances, warning shots may be fired in the air only after lesser measures were tried and failed to control threats to public safety.

In apprehending persons suspected of serious crimes, firing at their legs is permitted as a last resort, provided public safety isn't endangered.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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