Israel releases Palestinian activist Bassem Tamimi after 7 months

  • Post last modified:June 11, 2024
  • Reading time:4 mins read

Israel has released Bassem Tamimi from more than seven months in detention, where he was held without charge or trial.

Tamimi advocates for nonviolent opposition to Israel’s colonialism. Israeli forces nonetheless arbitrarily arrest him, having previously held him for around three years.

In 1993, Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet tortured him so badly that he suffered a hemorrhage. This left him unconscious for a week.

In 2012, Amnesty International referred to him a ‘prisoner of conscious’ and called out Israel for manufacturing incitement allegations against him through placing a 14 year old boy from his village under duress.

Tamimi organises protests against the Israeli occupation of Palestine’s West Bank through the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC). The PSCC resistance also takes the form of strikes, legal action, and supporting the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel’s colonial expansionism.

From 2009 to May 2024, Israel and its settlers illegally demolished 10,740 Palestinian structures and displaced 16,284 people in the West Bank.

One of thousands of Palestinian people Israel holds without charge or trial

Since 7 October, Israel has arrested more than 7,350 Palestinian people in the occupied West Bank, a sharp increase on beforehand. Of these, it holds about 3,050 people in so-called ‘administrative detention’, a form of arbitrary detention without charge or trial.

Israel-Palestine director at Human Rights Watch Omar Shakir has said:

Israel’s sweeping use of administrative detention is not lawful

But these practices don’t just date back years, but decades and they have only escalated since October 7

Israeli forces are also regularly beating Palestinian detainees. After his detention, Palestinian Hashim Matar said:

Lots of people had their [sternum] or heads broken, often gushing with blood. We weren’t even treated like animals. At least animals are treated with some sort of dignity

On top of the figures from the West Bank, the Israeli army has also detained and tortured thousands of Palestinian people in makeshift prisons in Gaza since 7 October.

Israel’s use of administrative detention against occupied Palestinian people is a feature of its apartheid system. That’s another of the state’s longstanding crimes, alongside the ongoing colonial expansion and genocide. While we welcome the release of Tamimi, these crimes must all come to an end.

Featured image via +972 Magazine – YouTube

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