The Shin Bet, in its continuing reign of oppression on Israeli Palestinian political leaders, imposed a travel ban on Mohammad Kana’neh, the general secretary of Abnaa el-Balad, a secular political group opposed to participation in Israeli elections. Kana’ne is a board member of Ameerk Makhoul’s NGO, Ittijah. The former had earlier been arrested and convicted in 2004 of alleged crimes very similar to those for which Makhoul is now accused. Wikipedia’s article describes the earlier campaign of intimidation against the group:
On 7 February 2004, Mohammad Kana’neh, the General Secretary the movement and a board member for the NGO Ittijah, was arrested in his home in Arrabe at four in the morning. According to the legal advocacy group, Adalah, during the search of his home, Israeli police beat his son, wife, and mother…Initially, no reasons were provided for their arrest, nor were they allowed contact to their lawyer…
Yoav Bar was removed from his home at four in the morning by police and taken to the movement’s club in the city. During a search of the premises, “[…] security personnel destroyed the furniture, ripped pictures from the walls, walked on photos of the victims of the Israeli occupation, threw trash, cleaning chemicals, oil, and grease on piles of books and magazines that had been thrown on the floor, and wrote curses and obscenities on the walls. During this time, Yoav Bar was threatened and cursed; one officer told him, ‘If it were up to me, I would shoot you in the head.'”
By the and of February, 2004, Sahar Abdo, and Youssef Abu Ali had been released after 24 days of detention without the laying of any charges. All were subjected to abusive interrogation techniques and had been denied access to a lawyer and their families for 18 to 21 days. According to Adalah, the interrogation methods used by the General Security Services (GSS) included tying the activists to their chairs, sleep deprivation, the refusal to provide essential medical treatment when needed, preventing them from bathing for long periods of time, and providing them with “inaccurate, misleading information” about their basic legal rights. Adalah submitted that, “These GSS actions violated the political activists’ rights to due process, life, privacy, and dignity.”
In 4 March 2004 – Mohamad Kana’neh was indicted in 3 counts of “contact with a foreign agent” – he was accused of meeting Dr. George Habash, the founder of the PFLP in Jordan, Ibrahim ‘Ajweh “Abu – Yaffa”, a Fatah movement member and an anti-globalization/anti-normalization activist from Jordan and visiting Ahmad Sa’adat, the general secretary of the PFLP in Jeriho prison…
Before the indictment, the prosecution held a big press conference, linking Mohammad…Kana’neh to Hezbollah. This accusation were never presented at court.
In October 10, 2004 Mohamad Kana’aneh accepted a plea bargain and pleaded guilty to 1 count of “contact with a foreign agent” -(Ibrahim ‘Ajweh) Althougth the prosecution agreed that all the contacts between the two were public as part of Mohamad Kana’neh’s political activisty, the state requested a 6 years sentence. The Haifa District Court sentenced him to 30 months of imprisonment and 2 years suspended incarceration.
…In November 2005, an Israeli appeals court extended Mohammad Kana’neh’s sentence by two years to four and a half years imprisonment.
There is nothing new under the sun. Where have we heard before the claim about being Hezbollah agents? The only difference is that a charge that wasn’t even deemed credible enough to bring against Kan’ane in 2004 is the only charge brought against Makhoul in 2010. Must be some sort of intelligence deflationary spiral. The Shin Bet seems to be a full-employment agency for those who believe that Israel’s “Arabs” are a fifth column intent on destroying the State by any means necessary.
Anyone reading this blog for the past few months won’t need to hear this again. But the Israeli intelligence apparatus is the ugly stain on Israeli “democracy.” Truly a busha v’cherpah for anyone who believes that Arabs and Jews are destined to find a way to co-exist in Israel.
My most ardent hope is that all those who today beat up Arab women and tie prisoners to chairs and subject them to sleep deprivation, all tactics forbidden under international law and Israeli High Court rulings, will in the course of time end up pumping gas for a living at some Israeli highway junction in the middle of nowhere (after their record is forwarded to the ICC for possible criminal investigation). While those they torture and throw in jail for trumped-up offenses will end up helping to run a country transformed into a nation of all its citizens.