Saturday, May 15, 2010

Arrest of Palestinian leaders in Israel "a dangerous development"

Jonathan Cook, The Electronic Intifada, 14 May 2010

The recent arrest of two respected public figures from Israel's Palestinian Arab minority in nighttime raids on their homes by the Shin Bet secret police -- brought to light this week when a gag order was partially lifted -- has sent shock waves through the community.

The arrests are not the first of their kind. The Shin Bet has been hounding and imprisoning politicians and intellectuals from the country's Palestinian minority, a fifth of the population, since the birth of the Jewish state more than six decades ago. Currently, two MPs from Arab political parties, as well as the leader of the popular Islamic Movement, are facing trials.

But the detention of Ameer Makhoul and Omar Said is seen differently -- as the gathering storm clouds in a political climate already fiercely hostile to its Palestinian citizens.

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