‘Israel may be able to confiscate our money, but it cannot confiscate our dignity.’ So says Issa Qaraqe, Head of the Commission of Detainees and ex-Detainees Affairs for the Palestinian Authority (PA).
In a written statement, Qaraqe added: ‘It seems that Israel, having completed its racist colonisation project, began to arrange the details of the lives of the Palestinian people on the path of the destruction drama of the Palestinian national identity and of the Palestinian liberation project.
‘The ratification by the Israeli ministerial committee on June 14, 2017 of the draft law allowing the withholding of Palestinian tax funds under the claim that they are used to fund subsidies for the families of detainees, martyrs, and wounded is more horrifying and immoral than war itself.
‘Israel is attempting to skin and punish the Palestinian people alive and cloak penal legislations designed to crush the Palestinian people under the veil of law. The Israeli, American and European objective through this blackmail and pressure on the Palestinian Authority is not financial.
‘It is an attempt to classify the entire Palestinian nation as terrorism and crime. The Palestinian resistance against the occupation represented by detainees, martyrs, and wounded is made illegitimate and stripped of its legal and humanitarian foundations, especially that which is rooted in international law that allows any people under occupation to resist this occupation for their freedom and dignity.
‘Israel is committing a crime against the families of the detainees, the martyrs, and the wounded.
‘It still wants to appear pure, innocent, clean and clean of our blood, suffering, and constant catastrophes caused by the Israeli occupation. If they succeed in doing so and we are forced to bow to Israeli-American pressure, going to the ICC will become ludicrous after we have admitted and accepted that all forms of our resistance to occupation are crimes and terrorism.
‘Israel wants a coup against Palestinian history and all international resolutions. Israel not only seeks to demolish the character and legal status of the State of Palestine and its detainees and martyrs after the recognition of the Palestinian state by the United Nations and many other countries, but it also seeks the repudiation of its humanitarian and legal responsibilities due to its occupation of Palestine.
‘It seeks to continue its policy of “legal” expansion and settlement annexation of the Palestinian territories and the displacement of the Palestinian people from the political presence. The intervention began with the Israeli calls to dismantle UNRWA and bury the refugee issue. The intervention reached the Palestinian curriculum and the policy of looting, theft and open piracy of everything in the life of the Palestinians, theft of water, movement, air, freedom of opinion and expression, land and trees, theft of detainees’ money in Israeli military courts, and the compensation policy.
‘In occupied Palestine, the victim pays compensation to the murderer and the executioner. It was an imperative to confront the Israeli aggression against the legal status of Palestinian martyrs, detainees, resistance and struggle. The Israeli actions were fundamentally contrary to the Oslo agreement, which referred all humanitarian and social services to the Palestinian Authority after the occupation left its calamities and tragedies in every Palestinian house.
‘In 1994, Israel passed on to the Palestinian Authority a catastrophically devastated society.
‘We, Palestinians, should have highlighted the facts about organised and officially supported Jewish Israeli terrorism.
‘This includes the financial, social and legal support of the Israeli government to Jewish murderers and terrorists, their families, and the terrorist organisations that commit murder, burning and kidnapping of our Palestinian people. We should have highlighted the official Israeli discourse that defends the murderers and the Jewish terrorists who executed dozens of our children and youth.
‘The Israeli government stood up to defend the murderers in the military courts and to grant them amnesty … We must demonstrate to those bewitched by Israeli deception that the Israeli government has turned the detainees into an economic market that generates huge amounts of money for the Israeli treasury, while relieving it of the cost of detaining thousands.
‘The detainees’ status quo is made to be a fait accompli by Israel, which opened the gate for evasion of the legal and moral responsibility for the lives and economic, educational, and social livelihood of the detainees. Israel, on the other hand, is satisfied by the returns of the expenditures of detainees in its prisons. Conveniently, the pragmatic detainees are no longer “terrorists”.
‘Israel wants to transform the living organism in Palestine into a corpse, and then into an inanimate object. It seeks to force Palestinian society to surrender its values and its morals. Iron chains are no longer the only means of restricting people’s freedom. It is known that because of wars, colonialism and armed conflicts, and the horrors and tragedies of mankind, thinkers, jurists and international bodies have developed many norms and humanitarian laws to protect victims of armed conflict.
‘The rules of international humanitarian law are designed to protect civilians and solve humanitarian and social problems resulting from armed conflicts. Thus the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which was established by an international agreement, acquires the legal right to care for the Palestinian victims of the Israeli occupation.
‘It is clear to the observers that the arbitrary racist legislations enacted by the Israeli Knesset, which have reached 66 laws and bills since 2014, violate the provisions and norms of humanitarian and international laws and aims to legitimise the control of the Palestinian people and the development of so-called “docilification” techniques for annexation and control. As a result, the occupation is no longer simply military, but a factor deep in the daily lives of the Palestinian people, so that all people become permanent detainees throughout their days and throughout their lives.
‘Any country or authority that respects itself, its values and its culture in any democratic society that respects the rule of law cannot abandon the families of its detainees, martyrs and wounded.
‘Rather, it would strengthen its role in caring for them and protecting them from need and poverty as victims of occupation.
‘The responsibility of the Palestinian Authority is to provide social security to the affected families.
‘This applies to all the countries of the world, including occupying Israel, to the families of Jewish criminals.
‘This guarantee falls within the framework of an international legal rule that requires care being given to affected families regardless of the actions of one of its members. Responsibility is individual and not collective lest it will reflect the social stability. Israel is seeking to destroy the issue of Palestinian citizenship and its citizens’ rights.
‘When we ignore our obvious rights because of pressure or fear, we will not expect the other to respect us. For it would set a precedent of the legality of violating our rights. The Israeli goal of pressure to stop the allocation of funds to families of detainees martyrs and wounded is to create a compliant Palestinian society.
‘It aims to deform the values and principles of the Palestinian and his or her national concerns to ensure their full and permanent adherence to the occupation. We have to stand firmly against the policy of demonising our people and its strugglers, and stand up to the Zionist colonial theory that states: if one can turn the fierce monsters into amusing creatures in the circus and make the elephants stand on their heads, and tame the lions to be acrobats, one can also transform humans into docile and abiding creatures deprived of their free will.
‘Israel can hold our money under power and piracy, but it cannot hold back our human and national dignity, nor can it change our identity from freedom fighters to despicable, undignified subordinates.’