From the Small Zinzana to the Bigger Zinzana: Israeli Prisons, Palestinian Prisons

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VOL. 45

2015/16

No. 3
P. 7
Articles
From the Small Zinzana to the Bigger Zinzana: Israeli Prisons, Palestinian Prisons
FULL TEXT

 

“[The PA] put me in a zinzana [isolation cell], too [smiling], though it was slightly bigger than the Israeli one.” [1]

 

“My brother was arrested by [PA] security agents who came to the house. And some of them were relatives and even friends of his.” [Ahmad] spoke of how hard it had been to watch Hamid being taken away “by security forces that are meant to protect us.”. . . Both the brothers in the village had served time in an Israeli jail. But Hamid has also spent several months altogether over the past two years locked up by his own people—the Fatah-dominated Palestinian security forces. He said that the guilt his guards felt showed in their eyes. There were even men he had actually done time with in prison in Israel who later became his jailers in the West Bank. [2]

 

SOMETIME IN THE SPRING OF 2009, Palestinian discourse on political prisoners—since 1967, arguably the most consensual pillar of a plural national discourse—appeared to be reaching a tipping point in both tone and content. [3] Ever since the consecration of the Fatah/Hamas inqisam(division) in 2007, a substantively new variety of intra-Palestinian carceralism was added to—and, in the West Bank, interwoven with—the Israeli-imposed carceralism so intimately familiar to Palestinians since the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. [4] The issue of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel became intertwined with two key developments after 2007: a step-change in practices by the Palestinian Authority (PA) that were tantamount to police state conduct that had emerged in the 1990s; [5] and the new Israeli-PA security coordination regime pursuant to the establishment of the PA under the Oslo Accords in the early-to-mid-1990s. In the aftermath of the Fatah/Hamas split in 2007, the conjunction of these two developments was newly dissonant in the historical perspective of the Palestinian experience as defined, since at least 1967, by carceralism.

 

On the surface, little appeared to have changed. The West Bank dailies featured their familiar chronicle of the effects of arbitrary mass imprisonment by Israel: demonstrations for prisoners’ rights in front of the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross; prisoner hunger strikes to protest Israeli prison conditions; the ritual demand by the PA minister for prisoners’ affairs for Israel to end to strip-searches of Palestinians at checkpoints on the road to family visits. But both front and inside pages were now also filled with something different. The language used in reporting the PA’s politics and practice of imprisonment of Palestinians was redolent of terms previously reserved for Israeli practices, from administrative detention on political grounds to modes of torture. While this had been the case since the PA’s establishment in 1994, post-2007 the context was new.

 

There was, of course, nothing new about violence between (or within) Palestinian factions per se, whether under Oslo-era PA rule or earlier—but no preceding episodes had reached the levels seen during the events of 2006–7. Prior to this, the most salient example of interfactional Palestinian violence was the split in Fatah that prompted a first, brief civil war in the Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon’s Tripoli in 1983. Syrian patronage of one side was central then, making that internecine struggle quite distinct from the post-2007 factional violence between Fatah (the mainstream faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO]-turned PA) and its rival, Hamas. [6] Under Oslo, Fatah-Hamas factional violence began long before the 2006 split, and it included precedents for torture, with the first death by PA security forces torture occurring less than a week after Yasir Arafat’s return to Gaza in 1994. [7] At least twenty Palestinians were reported to have died in PA detention during the first three years of PA rule. [8] One episode that is often forgotten in accounts of Hamas’s so-called takeover of Gaza in 2007 was the severe repression, notably including torture, of Hamas members in the mid-1990s, by the most feared branch of the PA security apparatus, Mohammad Dahlan’s Preventive Security Force.

 

Initial Palestinian critics of Oslo had immediately warned of the dangers were the PA to take on the task of self-policing under occupation. Edward Said had, famously, dubbed Oslo “an instrument of Palestinian surrender,” a “Palestinian Versailles,” partly on the grounds that the PLO, by “agreeing to police Gaza . . . will . . . become Israel’s enforcer.” [9] However, even after Oslo and until 2006 when the Fatah-Hamas split was formalized, institutionalized expression of factional rivalries had largely remained contained to professional and student elections. The major sustained episode of violence, the PA crackdown on Hamas in 1996, could still be deemed aberrant, ascribed to Israeli pressure and Dahlan’s overzealousness—it was tactics not strategy, overtaken by the shared military agenda of the second intifada’s armed groups (each with its own party affiliation), which the PA cracked down on only after Arafat’s death in 2004.

 

What differed from 2007 onward was that intra-Palestinian violence became integrated into a proto-state-building agenda with newly sharp policing teeth. No longer was it portrayed and defended as an aberrant, occasional excess born of external pressure and political competition within a common nationalist agenda. Instead, interfactional repression was increasingly narrated as existential, as required by incompatible nationalist agendas. The struggle between the two sides was phrased as no less central than the struggle against the common Israeli enemy—if indeed the enemy remained unproblematically identifiable as common. Already, come 2008, the head of military intelligence for the de facto Fatah-run and West Bank-only PA was reported telling his Israeli counterparts in a coordination meeting that “Hamas is the enemy, and we are determined to wage an all-out war. . . . We are taking care of every Hamas institution in accordance with your instructions.” [10] As anthropologist Lori Allen puts it, “The PA’s state-making efforts, with their focus on building up oppressive security forces and quelling the direct fight against occupation while performing support for human rights, are dissonant within a Palestinian nationalist idiom that speaks first and foremost of collective liberation.” [11] Increased repression under security coordination highlighted and heightened that dissonance.

 

By 2009, it was the institutionalized banalization of the mass political arrests and torture by the PA that was unprecedented. This time it was the product, not of Israeli pressure, but of an expressed existential need on the part of the PA and its patrons to avert a Hamas takeover in the West Bank, too. Al-Haq “unequivocally conclude[d] that the majority of political arrests in the West Bank and Gaza are politically motivated. Detention has rarely been carried out for valid criminal or security reasons.” [12] Within this logic, the domain, the range of enforcers, and the routinization of even the Oslo-era carceral framework had qualitatively expanded. Collective liberation was more than ever subordinated to the state-building agenda, with its attendant so-called security prerogatives, which the PA political and security establishments had been promoting with new single-mindedness and policing means since June 2007.

 

This article explores some of the most suggestive episodes of this latest shift in the Palestinian experience in the West Bank, from an era of strictly Israeli-enforced carceralism to a part-Palestinian one, too. These episodes can be broken down into three major periods: from elections to civil war in 2006–7; the rise of the new security coordination in 2007–9; and its high tide between the two Gaza wars of 2008–9 and 2014. While Hamas carceral practices in Gaza may differ little, this article argues that it is Israel-PA security coordination in the West Bank that has made carceralism there arguably a joint Israeli-Palestinian one. While its foundations lie in Oslo, “the system of security coordination has been completely retooled since 2007.” [13] Its status as a core component of the post-inqisam political disposition has made the distinction between pre and post-2007 incarnations of security coordination all but impossible to elide. Post-2007 it has been too convenient for too many actors to be affected by, for example, the 2012 bid for nonmember statehood at the United Nations, withdrawal from negotiations, or even any formally successful reconciliation agreement with Hamas. By May 2014, after the latest such agreement, President Mahmoud Abbas, speaking to an Israeli audience, called security coordination “sacred,” adding that the PA would “continue with it whether we agree or disagree on policy.” [14] Hamas mocked it as “more sacred than Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa Mosque.” [15]

 

These developments could reasonably be seen as either symptom or cause (or both) of a paradigm shift in the PA’s iteration of the Palestinian national narrative—one (if not the) key component of the dynamic whereby, in Sara Roy’s words, “The West Bank model . . . characterized by . . . the professionalization of security services . . . is devoid of political content and does nothing to address the occupation. On the contrary, it advocates silence and represses criticism.” [16] Most strikingly, such developments play out in the sphere of the Palestinian prison experience, the site of national narrative theoretically most resistant to such a paradigm shift, inasmuch as it has been arguably its most persistently consensual trope. Exploring these questions requires ranging beyond the locus of the literal prison to examining broader shifts in register in how Palestinians now speak about one another. How the PA prison is now represented; who is detained there and why; and the limits of what can happen to Palestinians there have become especially stark markers of both register and paradigm shifts.

 

2009: The Tipping Point?

 

The most immediate symptom of the shift in tone was the new nomenclature that appeared in the West Bank press to describe the arrest and violent death of Hamas members there. This new vocabulary began to emerge full force in the wake of the Hamas takeover of Gaza in June 2007. More telling was its persistence during and in the wake of Israel’s Gaza war of 2008–9 (codenamed by Israel “Operation Cast Lead”) when PA leaders explicitly blamed Hamas for bringing Israeli retribution upon the people of Gaza. [17]

 

By 2009, Hamas members arrested in the West Bank by the PA were no longer muqawimin (resisters) or munadilin (fighters)—nor even mere musallahin (gunmen), as they had once been when crossing the PA’s interests. They were now nas kharij al-qanun: literally, “people outside the law,” tonally, “criminals,” stripped of any redeeming, national, political identity. Such institutionalized political terms were previously all but inconceivable for Palestinians to designate swathes of other Palestinians—the terms had been refined over decades precisely to sustain the possibility of retrieving (if only rhetorical) national unity at all costs in moments of crisis. 

 

The notion that being “inside” PA law, whose framing and application were contingent upon Israeli goodwill, might validly override a contradictory loyalty to core historical values of the national movement had, by the end of the second intifada (2005) if not before, become threadbare. At best, the PA invoked the prevention of what it called al-falatan al-amni (security chaos), leading to Palestinian casualties, accidental or otherwise, as a rationale for curbing armed groups whose national legitimacy during the second intifada was widely felt to eclipse the powerless and inactive PA’s. Post-intifada PA demands to hand in weapons were thus defended as means to protect Palestinians from their own weapons [18] (or, for some militants who signed onto PA-Israel-U.S. deals, from Israeli assassination) more than assertions of PA authority over its putative citizens premised on any privileged national authority. The wave of mass arrests of Hamas members that followed was, however, a qualitative step. Any assertion that these were in the name of a national security detached from the factional survival of the Fatah-identified PA was now implausible. [19]

 

Even at the height of the bloodiest-ever 2006–7 clashes between Fatah and Hamas in Gaza, vocabulary in the most partisan outlets had remained largely passive. The term civil war was in general strenuously avoided, not least given the lack of precedent for it since Oslo. By 2009, the Ramallah press left little doubt about this shift in tone. At a particular nadir in factional relations, and less than a year after Operation Cast Lead, Abbas referred to Gaza as an “emirate of darkness.” [20] Mass reciprocal arrests had by now become institutionalized. While reconciliation talks were progressing, such headlines accordingly clustered below the fold of (the nominally independent, but Fatah-leaning) Al-ayyam: “[Fatah’s] Abu al-Naja: Twenty Hamas Prisoners to Be Freed in the West Bank,” who were explicitly described as political prisoners; “Fatah: Accord with Hamas for the Transfer of [Fatah] Political Prisoners [in Gaza] to Egypt”; or “Two Youths Arrested in Kafr Qalil—Occupation Forces,” where the need to specify that it was Israel that had arrested the latter remained unusual. The terms prisoner exchange and political prisoners, once reserved to refer to Palestinians in Israeli jails, now referred almost exclusively to an exchange of political prisoners between Fatah and Hamas.

 

The deeper shift in narrative appeared in another category of articles chronicling the development of the PA’s security forces. Thus, for example, a headline in Al-ayyam stated, “Commander of Jenin: The Security Forces Are Ready to Respond to Any Attempt to Target the Security of the Palestinian People and Its National Program.” [21] The notably unnamed agent of the threat invoked here was not Israel—on whose sufferance, and with whose coordination (and U.S. funding) PA security forces now acted. It was, instead, seemingly all and any Hamas members, if not suspected sympathizers, whose banal administrative persecution had become institutionalized. These were now construed as enemies, not of Fatah, nor even of the PA—but of “the Palestinian people” as represented by the PA: threats to “the sense of security that has characterized the territory for the past two years,” as per a Fatah spokesman. [22] This was not a reference to any qualitative easing in Israeli occupation practices—but to the mass post-2007 arrests, tied to the strategic increase in U.S. training of PA security forces. [23]

 

This representation of the current state of the West Bank under occupation as one of a normalcy that was the PA’s primary achievement, if not its sole raison d’être, was reiterated in a 2011 group interview Abbas gave that included former senior Israeli army officers. “We have imposed order and security here for the past four years, and things are stable now: There is law and order, the economy is progressing, life is normal everywhere in the West Bank,” Abbas said, echoing the words of Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator for Israel-PA (in charge of training security forces in 2005–10). [24] In a notorious 2009 assessment during a keynote speech he delivered in Washington, Dayton said, “We are trying to form a normal government,” and “life is approaching normal in many of these areas” under “new men/new Palestinians” trained to coordinate with Israel. [25]

 

Here, too, mid-2009 appeared a qualitative shift. The PA’s post-2007 security project was closer to realization, and thus to a degree of felt permanence, than ever. Even PA policemen, deemed innocuous figures since Oslo, were now to be feared. The sight of one every dozen meters on Ramallah’s main streets, stopping and searching cars, and reported sightings of brutal beatings by members of the more feared security branches, cured any residual doubts as to their new seriousness, or to the wisdom of pushback. If little pushback was possible, it was partly because “many citizens . . . had become afraid of the PA security apparatus” again, [26] and with good reason. The head of the PA’s quasi-governmental Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) warned as early as 2008 of “militarization . . . as if a state of lawlessness had shifted to a sort of security state, a police state.” [27] Policing dissent has since moved far beyond Hamas, to authors of Facebook posts criticizing Abbas, to Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions activists, and even to demonstrators for hunger-striking prisoners in Israeli jails.

 

Targets of security coordination could now be represented as outside, not only PA law, but the national community altogether, which was reduced, in this discourse, to West Bankers. Through security coordination, the PA had taken over from Israel part of the creation of new political prisoners. It appeared to be developing a language to come to terms with the hitherto largely implicit logic of its conflicting priorities since Oslo, all but releasing itself from a national compact with those among its constituents who challenged its Oslo-derived legitimacy. These were no longer even characterized within the elaborate historical lexicon of Palestinian discourse—as all terms now collapsed into the rubric of security familiar from the occupation. In the process, the PA appeared to be engaging in its most explicit reconfiguration yet of the definition and ends of Palestinian-ness and the national movement in the Oslo era.

 

Qalqilya, 30 May 2009

 

On 30 May 2009, PA security forces killed two Hamas gunmen in a gun battle in the West Bank town of Qalqilya. (The ICHR later reported that they had been wanted by Israel for the previous six years. [28]) Three members of the PA forces were also killed. Al-hayat al-jadida’s headline the next day read: “Three Security Forces Members Martyred and Two Hamas Gunmen and a Citizen Killed in Qalqilya Clashes.” Down page 1 of Al-ayyam, one headline read: “Qalqilya: Seven Citizens Fall in Clashes between the Security Forces and Hamas Members.” Al-quds, always the most cautious of the dailies, eschewed value-laden vocabulary altogether for “Seven Victims in Regrettable Clashes.” The favored euphemism was ahdath mu’sifa (unfortunate events). This had been the phrase of choice during the Fatah-Hamas clashes in Gaza before June 2007, which had first tested the post-1967 national consensus on appropriate vocabulary for Palestinian violent death in the West Bank and Gaza (alleged collaborators aside).

 

The Qalqilya events were not the first occasion testing the new lexicon concerning clashes in the West Bank. They were, however, and crucially, the first occasion on which that language had to integrate deaths, that is what broader meaning might attach to PA security forces killing Palestinians in the name of security post-2007 and they prompted the most uncompromising defense to date of the new security discourse on the part of PA leaders. Two weeks later, the PA commander of Jenin referred to “the unfortunate events . . . in Qalqilya, in which a number of soldiers and security officers fell in the fulfillment of their national duty.” [29] “National duty” was here characterized exclusively in terms of the protection of the West Bank “citizenry”; the deaths of the Hamas men no longer even featured as euphemism. PA prime minister Salam Fayyad, the incarnation of and moving force behind the new security discourse, was notably blunt: “We do not apologize.” [30]

 

The language used reflected the degree to which the papers were reticent to embrace the new narrative. It was a far cry from the still-recent days when the violent death of any Palestinian involved in the muqawama (resistance) against Israel, or any death that could be represented (or misrepresented) as a consequence, however indirect, of Israeli actions, automatically earned the victim the designation of shahid (martyr). Hamas outlets featured more explicit analogies between PA and Israeli practices. Among the tamest, the Palestinian Information Center bore the likes of “Abbas’s Militia Kidnap Eleven Palestinians Including One Woman,” or, invoking a national rather than factional consensus against the PA, “Islamic Jihad Prevented from Holding Parade to Welcome Home Freed Prisoner.” A piece on the PA repression of Hamas activists turned only in its final paragraph to, “As for the Israeli violations and crimes during this month . . .” [31]

 

An especially recurrent trope was the accusation that the national sacredness of prisoner releases was being violated. Thus one could read, a priori, cryptically: “Hamas Captives Condemn Abbas’s Militia for Kidnapping Freed Captives.” This referred to the novel practice of the PA detaining prisoners freed by Israel at the very checkpoint at which they had been released into the West Bank—with all the stigma, not only of prior security coordination with Israel, but of explicitly shared ends, and enemies, that this suggested.

 

Hamas captives in Israeli jails [until very recently, a rare precision] said in their statement that it was indeed regrettable that those [PA] agencies wait for Hamas captives who are freed from Israeli jails on roadblocks to kidnap them before they reach their homes and families, citing the case of Iyad Habib from Bethlehem, who was released from Israeli jails after spending two years in administrative detention to be kidnapped by Abbas’s security before [reaching] his home. Habib was kidnapped by Abbas’smilitia as soon as he crossed the Daherya roadblock, even before he could say hello to his wife and little daughter who were waiting for himat the roadblock. . . . The captives stressed that such behavior is alien to Palestinian society. [32]

 

Attempts to identify the PA’s Hamas prisoners with the broader, nationally sacred community of Palestinian prisoners in Israel grew increasingly ambitious. Less tame, but equally representative, was the language on Palestinian Internet forums advertising a “Special and Exclusive Report,” titled “From the Heart of the Dayton-Abbas Prisons: The Philosophy of Detention and Interrogation in the Dayton-Abbas Prisons and the Means of Dealing with Them.” Common and persistent, tropes—and far from being used exclusively by Hamas—cast the PA as the “American Dayton Republic,” or, with more historical bite, tied the PA to the British Mandate, with Dayton himself as the “High Commissioner of Palestine.” [33] The report’s title could only call to mind the iconic work of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, The Philosophy of Confrontation behind Bars, a book that scarcely any Palestinian prisoner in an Israeli jail could have failed to come across in the previous quarter-century. [34] The report thus drew not merely rhetorical (if, mostly, heavily implied rather than explicit) parallels between PA and Israeli practices—it also channeled the most iconic signifiers of the experiences and personal-political narratives of Palestinians who had ever been imprisoned in Israeli jails.

 

A key element of this evolving discourse was the deliberately radical indistinction drawn by the PA’s critics (again especially, but by no means exclusively, Hamas ones) between the nature and function of Israeli and PA prisons. A spokesman for Hamas’s military wing could thus be quoted as calling on members “to deal with . . . ‘the outlaw and unfaithful apparatuses’ [PA forces] . . . in the same way they deal with the Israel army when trying to arrest them.” [35] The ICHR’s report on Qalqilya reported that one of the Hamas gunmen had told a witness “that he did not recognize the [PA] forces as Palestinian but as members of the Israeli army.” [36] Even if this blurring of roles were dismissed as Hamas rhetorical policy, the PA’s developing characterization of Hamas members as generic security threats made the explicit parallel between Israeli and PA forces less remarkable. The post-Oslo trope of PA forces as subcontractors for the Israeli army, if not as collaborators, was at its height—and far from a purely factional one. “We must stop the unfettered security coordination,” Fatah leaders were anonymously quoted as saying, “since it’s turning us into collaborators.” [37]

 

Torture under Security Coordination

 

Of the many red lines to be crossed in Palestinian conduct toward other Palestinians since 2006, torture carries a further distinct resonance. Until recently, torture (like prison) featured, in Palestinian discourse, as by definition that which Israel visited upon Palestinians. The Israeli legal euphemism for the practice, “moderate physical pressure,” [38] is common and widely derided currency. Resisting torture, refusing to confess under duress, sumud (steadfastness) are consistently represented as the central sites of national political agency, all the more precious for being straightforwardly above factional political considerations.

 

Come 2009, however, it was the windows of PA jails and not Israeli ones from which the loyalist press reported that Hamas prisoners were jumping. Claims of reciprocal torture visited upon the new variety of political prisoners in West Bank and Gaza prisons were now a staple of factional discourse and literature. A persistent cognitive disconnect became evident in attempts to integrate as institutionalized Palestinian conduct practices previously defined as Israeli. In the self-contradictory testimony of one victim’s father,

 

Some thirty armed men from the PA arrived at my home. They told me they wanted to take my son, Haitham, with them for a few hours. It never occurred to me, even inmy wildest nightmares, that they would murder him in cold blood a few hours later. [But] I am not accusing the PA of killing my son. The one who killed my son is an Israeli agent. [39]

 

Both the depth of the elision between Israeli and PA forces and practices and the persistent recourse to euphemism in describing it were further hinted at in press articles such as that in Al-ayyam titled the “Formation of the Palestinian Coalition against Torture.” Buried deep in the second column lay, “Among the rationales of the coalition: noting the increase in the use of torture especially in Israeli prisons . . . and that Israel is the only country in the world to have legalized the use of torture . . . citizens who witness torture are called upon to report it . . .” (emphasis mine). [40] It took little reading between the lines to gather that part of the impetus for the coalition to act might be the recent routinization of torture in PA prisons rather than any step-change in Israeli practices.

 

“CRIMES AGAINST THE REVOLUTION”: THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK

 

A key initial question raised by the PA’s mass arrest of Hamas members was whether and how to try them, and under which legal framework. [41] The ideal solution was to avoid the embarrassment of a court trial and use the state of emergency decreed in June 2007 to enable near-indefinite detention—regardless of the inescapable parallels with Israeli administrative detention. The key instrument invoked, the Military Judicial Commission, was established and defined under the 1979 PLO Revolutionary Law of Penal Procedure, whose applicability to PA jurisdiction is all but universally rejected by Palestinian lawyers. [42] The provisions of the military commission laws had been designed to apply to military personnel and civilians who had committed “crimes against the Palestinian Revolution”: a framework that itself referred to a situation predating, and a narrative detached from, the PA’s existence and objectives. [43]

 

ICHR asked the PA on what grounds civilians (in practice, presumed Hamas members or sympathizers) were being arrested under laws designed to protect the security, not of the PA, but of the Revolution, and that this would contradict the PA’s own Basic Law, which limits the jurisdiction of military courts to military personnel. The reply given stated, “No civilians were arrested but rather persons who belong to outlawed organizations and members of armed militia that constitute [a] danger to law and order” and that “any procedures taken against these individuals were preventative.” Once again, this ran perilously close to characterizing Hamas affiliation as ipso facto a danger to any legitimate Palestinian law and order. [44] A separate PA answer to ICHR invoked articles of the Revolutionary Law as permitting “the arrest of any individual who threatens the interior or exterior security and safety of the homeland” [45]—a homeland redefined in practice as the West Bank jurisdiction of the PA. As often as not, in the ICHR report’s words, “the charge of political activism”46 sufficed, echoing the membership of a banned organization, which is the standard Israeli charge for arresting those linked to Hamas and other factions.

 

The historical and political resonance of these parallels goes beyond strictly legal arguments for the lack of applicability of the PLO Revolutionary Code in PA law and its elision between sources of PA and PLO legitimacy. In 2009, ordinary Palestinians or disillusioned Fatah supporters/members I interviewed readily evoked heavy irony at the fact that the PA was sentencing people for “crimes against the Revolution.” For some, the Revolution was the very narrative of Palestinian historical agency and experience that the PA was busy overruling, temporarily or otherwise, with a security discourse that was unrecognizable in terms of the founding aims of the Revolution. As Hamas discourse rarely fails to point out, a further irony is that those doing the arresting are themselves kharij al-qanun in a stricter sense. Since 2006, the West Bank has been governed by the party that lost the elections, under governments appointed by a president whose term expired in 2009. The fact that the term of the Hamas-dominated Palestinian Legislative Council has also expired removes little rhetorical sting from the claim.

 

“NEW PALESTINIANS”

 

A more historical approach and resigned tone were altogether more characteristic of early post- 2007 private discourse in the West Bank than the shrillness of reciprocal partisan characterizations. [47] Among the less partisan, the tenor of such talk was best characterized as an embarrassed waiting: neither acceptance of the legitimacy of the new West Bank dispensation, nor the wholesale embrace of its critique by Hamas. It channeled, instead, a certain resignation to a temporary incapacity to resist the post-2007 U.S.-Israeli-PA security project, tempered in some quarters by a certain appreciation for the Fayyad-led plan as a necessary experiment, even when it was deemed condemned to failure. The PA’s drift into a new kind of police “state” from its 1990s incarnation due to security coordination widely appeared, in any short term at least, irreversible, given the entrenched qualitative change in the repressive capacities and aims of PA security services, and the argument that “the end of security coordination effectively sounds the death knell for the entire Oslo framework.” [48]

 

* * *

 

Nowhere perhaps was the new PA narrative more directly encapsulated than in Gen. Abdel Razak al-Yehiyeh’s 2008 address to security force trainees. “You’re not learning how to fight the Israelis. You are not here to fight the occupation. You are here to fight the forces of disorder, the forces of crime and lawlessness inside Palestine,” the PA’s then-interior minister told the fresh graduates. Accompanying him to the training camp in Jordan was Dayton, who described these forces as having made “new men . . . they have made such a difference—and I am not making this up—that senior [Israeli] commanders ask me frequently: “How many more of these new Palestinians can you generate, and how quickly?” [49] Dayton glossed al-Yehiyeh’s speech as follows: “He said ‘armed groups,’ which was his way of saying ‘terrorists.’” That word still marked a red line in explicit Palestinian descriptions of Hamas: already in 2008, the echoes of Israeli parlance were too deafening in this respect, if few others. [50]

 

With such language, the function of PA forces appeared analogous to that of the Israeli army since 1967, namely to “fight [Palestinian] terrorists.” By 2012, Abbas himself was using the word explicitly, telling a delegation from the U.S.-based lobbying group, J Street, “We want security to fight terrorism.” [51] The function of the PA prison in the West Bank had also, accordingly, become scarcely distinguishable from that of the Israeli one. It, too, was defined by its arbitrariness. It was, arguably, more so, given the unpredictability of what legal restraint could transpire in an improvised legal framework—rather than a more predictable Israeli one “refined” over the course of over forty years of occupation. At the time and since, some Ramallah human rights nongovernmental organization activists complained that it was proving a struggle to elicit even merely sustained interest from either domestic or international policymakers in their reports of torture in PA jails. [52]

 

On the bus from Jerusalem to Ramallah in July 2009, a bourgeois Palestinian matron pointed out the PA security forces stationed every dozen yards by the side of the road, stopping and searching cars, to her cousin, returning to the West Bank after three decades in the United States. “Look,” she said, with straightforward pride, “this is the Palestinian army.” “Palestinian army?!” the wizened fellah sitting next to me erupted, choked with rage, his cane literally hitting the roof. “Those are Israel’s Arabs. Those are the South Lebanon Army.” The reference to Israel’s proxy militia in South Lebanon, a byword for “collaborators,” was startling in 2009 Ramallah. In Gaza come 2011, the analogy was well on its way to becoming banal—and by no means merely among Hamas partisans.

 

When, in October 2009, the PA, under Israeli and U.S. pressure, withheld from asking the UN General Assembly to consider the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead, shoes were thrown in Gaza at specially printed posters of Abbas, his face crossed out with a large black X. They read: “To the dustbin of history, O Traitor.” If this was a low point of the national consensus since 2007, it was surely a candidate for the lowest since 1948 too, and all the more threatening for its occurrence under theoretical Palestinian self-rule. Back on the bus, the political toxicity of security coordination was underlined by the very voicing in a public space that if, one day, the PA was overthrown in the West Bank (as it had been in Gaza), its leaders might have nowhere to run but Israel.

 

Hamas has had to deal with its own accusations of parallels to Israeli behavior. Its primary ideological and practical challenge has come, however, not from Fatah, but from salafi jihadis critiquing the organization, on grounds as religious as nationalist, for ceasing to resist Israel and/or failing to implement shari‘a. Most damningly, in the wake of Operation Cast Lead and ceasefire agreements with Israel, “Hamas informants . . . who line the borders [preventing rocket fire into Israel] are referred to by rocket launchers as zannanat (drones), a term meant to convey the similarity of their function to that of Israel’s border guards.” [53] Hamas has been wary both of alienating the salafi jihadi constituency and of the potentially calamitous effects of rocket fire that might provoke Israel at a time of its choosing rather than Hamas’s. It has, however, largely contained the challenge since its bloodiest confrontation, the 2009 assault on a Rafah salafi jihadi mosque. Hamas’s performance during the November 2012 war (code-named by Israel “Pillar of Defense”) helped it to redefine continued resistance as compatible with a policy of restraint justified in tactical, but still thoroughly nationalist, terms. Already, asked in 2010 whether he preferred rockets or no rockets given their consequences, a Fatah paterfamilias in hard-hit Jabaliya refugee camp answered, despondently, “I prefer honesty.” [54] He was uninterested in claiming resistance credentials even were the issue of security coordination to permit it.

 

AFTER TORTURE, RECONCILIATION?

 

The historical novelty and resonance of the stark post-2007 blurring between Israeli and Palestinian prison experiences should, I have suggested here, not be underestimated, elided as they may be by occasional and temporary reconciliation efforts. With respect to torture, it seemed for a time that the mid-2009 high had passed, but due to PA donor pressure if not diktat. [55] An International Crisis Group report dated November 2009 had already reported that “instances of torture in PA jails have greatly diminished over the past few months.” [56] Reports and interviews since, however, suggest that such periodic improvements served principally to enshrine and further the new order described earlier:

 

The director of a human rights organisation commented that while the reduction of torture in PA jails is an important improvement, “all the other violations continue and are being obscured by the positive media coverage about torture.” A Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) concurred: “People have come to accept political detainees as long as they are not tortured. Even the families are not protesting as much as they used to. It’s becoming a standard part of life here, so long as they don’t have to worry about severe injury and their children ending up in the hospital.” [57]

 

Al-Haq seconded the analysis. “After the torture stopped, the number of arrests increased,” [58] according to the group’s director, but a year later torture had “in recent months again become routine.” [59] On this account, the immediate effect of the climbdown on torture, far from rowing back from an ultimate red line, had been the opposite: to normalize, if not to legitimate, the new narrative and political dispensation.

 

At high points in Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks, it seemed that torture might be tacitly forgotten by both sides. Its persistent invocation as being ongoing and worsening sat uneasily with the prospect of these talks succeeding. Nor did it appear an equal liability for both parties: security coordination made the subject a distinctly broader difficulty for the PA/Fatah. In 2011, Yezid Sayigh noted, “The allegations of torture were previously credible, but they do not appear to reflect current practice in Gaza.” [60]

 

Following its announcement, the reconciliation agreement of 2014, like its 2011 predecessor, had little effect on political detention. Weeks after the 2011 agreement, the head of ICHR had noted, “It’s business as usual. . . . Nothing has happened on these issues, which are part of the reconciliation.” [61] Al-Haq warned of the consequences of “procrastinating and toying with the fate and feelings of political detainees and their families, which continue a month and a half since the reconciliation agreement.” [62] Protesters in Ramallah had already used their newly expanded freedom to demonstrate—but they did so to protest the absence of prisoner releases, blindfolded, their signs reading, “Didn’t see it.” Days into the 2014 agreement, ongoing arrests of Hamas sympathizers in the West Bank, including the day after the announcement of a unity government, were decried as lacking seriousness on the PA’s part. Hamas leaders argued, “The reconciliation is meaningless if the arrests do not stop.” [63] The agreement’s key component was its constitutive silence on what leading Palestinian analysts deemed to be the most sensitive issue: “the gradual reunification of the rival security forces,” the one step that might frontally address political arrest and torture. [64] Rather than welcoming prisoner releases, declarations in the wake of subsequent agreements have bemoaned further arrests in spite of them, with Hamas statements rarely failing to specify how many of the new arrestees were veterans of the Israeli prison system. [65]

 

ICHR’s 2013 annual report noted “allegations of torture . . . noticeably increased” nearly twofold since 2011, with no criminal prosecutions ensuing. [66] Abbas’s response was the promise of an official announcement criminalizing torture. This was much derided by human rights figures. “Presidents don’t issue ‘announcements’ if they’re serious. They issue decrees,” one told me sardonically, arguing that the primary effect of Abbas’s statement was to indicate to security forces that at least the threat of torture with impunity was to remain a tool at their disposal when expedient. [67] By the 2014 report, ICHR noted a “remarkable increase,” which had again doubled the number of allegations. [68] The 2015 annual report pointed to yet another “remarkable increase.” [69]

 

“ALL THAT HISTORY”

 

In Gaza, the 1996 mass torture of Hamas members had neither been forgotten nor forgiven, as evidenced in the targeted executions during Hamas’s takeover. (In 2008, Hamas’s Ismail Radwan remained intent on calling 1996 “a massacre, not mere torture.” [70]) In 2011, Hamas’s Usama Hamdan noted, “There is a history of problems between the two sides in Gaza and the West Bank. People recall all that history . . .” [71] Those memories wore thinner than ever after 2007, as detainees died in Palestinian prisons, with their prior time in Israeli prisons proving no safeguard against being tortured to death by their own government. It seems unlikely that their relatives, and the many surviving victims of the institutionalization of mass political detention and torture since 2007, will forgive or forget it in a hurry. This marks them off from their political leaders, ever keen to avoid embarrassment by proclaiming both in 2014 and 2011, and not least on the Hamas side, that “the page has been turned.” [72] While party choices born of political necessity are one thing, the breadth and depth of social resentment born of nine years of mass arrests including torture is another. [73]

 

The accumulated relevance of “all that history” was apparent when, in Gaza in 2011, a Fatah figure recounted to me his first, cordial post-June 2007 conversation with his Hamas interrogator, when they raised the question of what would happen were Hamas to lose the next election: “Ya [insert name] . . . This chair you’re now sitting on is covered in blood. Our blood. You’re not getting it back just like that.” [74] The reference was to blood as old as 1996, not just the then four years of “unfortunate events.” Given the quantities of blood spilled in the interim, some amid security coordination, post-2007 grudges can be expected to last much longer still.

 

While the 2011 reconciliation agreement baffled many in the few weeks it lasted, a Gazan analyst friend not untypically rationalized it thus, “We have a saying: ‘Kiss the dog until it gives you what you want.’” In the long term, the historical imperatives and resilience of Palestinian unity may once again, as they largely have ever since 1948, win out over even this latest, by now nine-year accumulation of grievances. But the endurance of any reconciliation agreement will surely require a more robust accounting than the temporary reciprocal necessity prompted by regional dynamics that has driven every effort to produce an agreement to date. The final stumbling block to the 2014 reconciliation accord was the PA’s demotion of its Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs to a commission, a move that Hamas described as “a stab in the back of hunger-striking prisoners.” [75] The earliest hitch involved complaints of not only continued political arrests of Hamas members but police assaults on the movement’s first post-agreement West Bank demonstration, in support of hunger-striking political prisoners in Israel—prompting special outrage beyond Hamas.

 

In June 2014, security coordination met the rare killing of three settlers in the West Bank, and Israel’s exploitation of the incident, with a campaign of mass arrests of mainly Hamas members. Among these were, crucially, some of the 1,027 prisoners Israel had freed in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011, one of Hamas’s self-professed greatest accomplishments after 2006. As Abbas defended coordination, its intertwining with both inqisam and the historical prisoners issue hit a high. Hamas attacked coordination as “a crime and a violation of the [2011] Cairo [reconciliation] agreement which stated that security coordination is punishable by law”; [76] and, again channeling the historical prisoner issue, the organization went on to call it “a coup against the revolutionary heritage, for which thousands of [Palestinians] were imprisoned.” [77] When it came, the backlash against coordination shocked many: stone-throwing in Ramallah was no longer reserved only for Israeli troops (occupying Ramallah for the first time since 2007); while on social media, one could read “Palestinians and Israelis changing shifts,” or “I love Palestine and I hate security coordination.” Stones were also thrown at Ramallah’s PA police station after Israeli soldiers had left, prompting PA police to fire in the air, and Israeli troops to return to assist them. [78]

 

Come March 2015, it seemed, albeit briefly, as if the final act of security coordination had been ushered in, as the Palestinian Central Council announced, “Security coordination in all its forms with the authority of the Israeli occupation will be stopped in the light of its (Israel’s) noncompliance with the agreements signed between the two sides.” [79] At the UN General Assembly six months later, Abbas reiterated the threat—to general puzzlement as to whether even he knew what he meant by it. By January 2016, four months into a new revolt that had by then cost 150 Palestinian lives, he told the press, “Security coordination is going strong.” Tapping his watch for emphasis, he continued, “to this very moment!”—provoking much satire. [80]

 

Security coordination had blurred which of Israel or the PA was now making arrests in the West Bank, with the common aim of disestablishing Hamas there. When Abbas insisted that “security coordination . . . is in our interest to protect our people” days before the summer 2014 Gaza war that put security coordination under pressure as never before, the fact that it was so clearly protecting none of them rankled beyond its core Hamas targets. Decrying all three intertwined variables—political arrests, security coordination, and Oslo as a whole—was more than ever the locus of any alternative national program, even while conceding Hamas no monopoly to define “resistance.” In this new configuration, the prisoners issue was firmly back as the touchstone of national debates that it has been since 1967.

 

Thomas W. Hill holds a doctorate in history from Cambridge University. In a recent teaching stint at the University of California, Berkeley, he taught a course titled “Microcosm? Gaza since 1920.” He would like to thank the Kenyon Institute, Jerusalem, for a senior visiting research fellowship; audiences at Columbia University, New York University, and the American University of Beirut for comments; and Kamal Aljafari, Rob Blecher, Peter Lagerquist, and Dalia Taha for their help with this article.

 

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1 Peter Lagerquist, “A Scholarship and a Crisis,” New York Times, 5 August 2001.

2 AlanJohnston,“Divided Loyalties in Nablus,” BBC, 10 December 2009, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8402326.stm (cached).

3 For a comprehensive account of the issue’s centrality see Esmail Nashif, Palestinian Political Prisoners: Identity and Community (New York: Routledge, 2008) reflecting how “prisoners have long played a critical role in the national imagination, where they have been accorded pride of place,” as succinctly stated in Buying Time? Money, Guns and Politics in the West Bank, Middle East Report no. 142 (Brussels: International Crisis Group, 29 May 2013).

4 Lisa Hajjar, Courting Conflict: The Israeli Military Court System in the West Bank and Gaza (Berkeley: University of California, 2005), p. 186.

5 See Amira Hass, Drinking the Sea at Gaza (New York: Holt, 1996), pp. 307–43.

6 For factional relations pre-Oslo, see Yezid Sayigh, Armed Struggle and the Search for State (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997); for example, “Palestinian Civil War,” pp. 577–83.

7 “Chronology, 16 May–15 August 1994,” Journal of Palestine Studies (JPS) 24, no. 1 (Autumn 1995): pp. 164–65.

8 Hass, Drinking the Sea at Gaza, p. 320.

9 Edward W. Said, “The Morning After,” London Review of Books 15, no. 20 (21 October 1993).

10 Jon Elmer, “A Prescription for Civil War,” Al Jazeera, 8 February 2010, http://www.aljazeera.com/focus/2009/12/2009121311331278355.html.

11 Lori Allen, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2013), p. 133.

12 Al-Haq, Torturing Each Other: The Widespread Practices of Arbitrary Detention and Torture in the Palestinian Territory, excerpted in “Documents and Source Material,” JPS 38, no. 1 (Autumn 2008): p. 167.

13 Andy Clarno, “Securing Oslo: The Dynamics of Security Coordination in the West Bank,” Middle East Report 43, no. 269 (Winter 2013), http://www.merip.org/mer/mer269/securing-oslo.

14 “Al-ra’is: Al-tansiq al-amni muqaddas . . .,” Al-quds, 28 May 2014, http://www.alquds.com/news/article/view/id/506562. All translations provided by author unless otherwise noted.

15 Nathan Thrall, “Whose Palestine?,” NYR Daily, 19 June 2014, http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/jun/19/whose-palestine/?insrc=...

16 Sara Roy, “Reconceptualizing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Key Paradigm Shifts,” JPS 41, no. 3 (Spring 2012): p. 82.

17 Rob Blecher, “Operation Cast Lead in the West Bank,” JPS 38, no. 3 (Spring 2009): p. 69. For analogous rhetoric in 2014, see for example “Nabd al-daffa, muqawama,” Al Modon, 20 July 2014, http://www.almodon.com/arabworld/2014/7/20/%D9%86%D8%A8%D8%B6-%D8%A7%D9%....

18 For this rhetoric, see Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, “Peace through Security” (Michael Stein Address on U.S. Middle East Policy, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Washington, DC, 7 May 2009), p. 11, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/html/pdf/DaytonKeynote.pdf.

19 The same might, of course, apply to the arrest of Fatah members in Gaza but, as described in this article, security coordination has not been the same issue there.

20 AP and Khaled Abu Toameh, “Abbas: Gaza Is an ‘Emirate of Darkness,’” Jerusalem Post, 13 October 2009, http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Abbas-Gaza-is-an-emirate-of-darkness.

21 “Qa’id mantaqa Jenin: Quwat al-amn jahiza . . .,” Al-ayyam (Ramallah), 10 June 2009, p. 5.

22 Avi Issacharoff, “PA: Arrested Hamas Activists Planned to Assassinate Abbas,” Haaretz, 3 July 2009.

23 See International Crisis Group, Squaring the Circle: Palestinian Security Reform under Occupation, Middle East Report no. 98 (7 September 2010); and Yezid Sayigh, “Fixing Broken Windows: Security Sector Reform in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen,” Carnegie Papers no. 17 (October 2009). For comparison with Gaza, see Yezid Sayigh, “We Serve the People: Hamas Policing in Gaza,” Crown Paper 5 (Brandeis University, April 2011).

24 Avi Issacharoff, “Abbas: Palestinians to Ask for UN Recognition if Talks Fail,” Haaretz, 31 March 2011 (emphasis mine).

25 Dayton, “Peace through Security,” 7 May 2009.

26 Allen, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights, p. 128.

27 “Palestinian Group Accuses Hamas, Fatah of Violating Human Rights,” Ynetnews, 27 May 2008, http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3548506,00.html.

28 ICHR Fact-Finding Report on the Events that Occurred in Qalqilya on 30/5/2009 and 4/6/2009, Legal Reports Series 8 (Ramallah: Independent Commission for Human Rights, October 2009), p. 11.

29 “Qa’id mantaqa Jenin,” Al-ayyam (Ramallah), 10 June 2009.

30 “Istishhad 3 min quwat al-amn,” Al-hayat al-jadida (Ramallah), 1 June 2009, p. 1.

31 PIC and Ikhwanweb, “Report: PA Security Forces Killed Six Palestinians, Abducted Hundreds Last Month,” Ikhwanweb, 1 July 2009, http://www.ikhwanweb.com/article.php?id=20662.

32 PIC, “Hamas Captives Condemn Abbas’s Militia for Kidnapping Freed Captives,” Sabr (blog), 17 July 2009, http://palestinianprisoners.blogspot.fr/2009/07/hamas-captives-condemn-a....

33 Marcy Newman, “Interview with PA Dissident: ‘I Cannot Just Stay Silent,’” Electronic Intifada, 26 November 2009. https://electronicintifada.net/content/interview-pa-dissident-i-cannot-j....

34 Anonymous, Falsafat al-muwajaha wara’ al-qudban (n.d.; PFLP, early 1980s).

35 “Hamas Urges West Bank Fighters Not to Surrender to Pro-Abbas Forces,” Xinhua, 3 June 2009, http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-06/03/content_11482147.htm.

36 ICHR, Fact-Finding Report, p. 26.

37 International Crisis Group, Gaza’s Unfinished Business, Middle East Report no. 85 (23 April 2009), p. 17.

38 Stanley Cohen and Daphna Golan, The Interrogation of Palestinians during the Intifada: Ill-Treatment, “Moderate Physical Pressure” or Torture? (Jerusalem: B’Tselem, March 1991).

39 KhalidAmayreh, “PA Still Reticent over Death of Detainee in Mukhabarat Custody,” PIC, 18 June 2009. 

40 “Ramallah: Al-‘alan ‘an tashkil al-i’tilaf al-Filastini l-munahida al-t’adhib,” Al-ayyam (Ramallah), 11 June 2009, p. 10.

41 Ghandi Rabie’, The Detention of Civilians by Palestinian Security Agencies with a Stamp of Approval by the Military Judicial Commission, Special Report no. 64 (Ramallah: ICHR, 2008). This article in no way seeks to outline the legal debates in their full complexity—merely their conceptual resonance.

42 In this instance, PLO jurisdiction was to apply to “the behavior of Palestinian revolutionary forces in the diaspora, while the PA’s applied only to the West Bank and Gaza, as documented in Rabie’, The Detention of Civilians, p. 9.

43 Rabie’, The Detention of Civilians, p. 9.

44 Rabie’, The Detention of Civilians, p. 10 (emphasis mine).

45 Rabie’, The Detention of Civilians, p. 14.

46 Rabie’, The Detention of Civilians, p. 24.

47 See for example A. Qasim, “Sijn juneid wa sijn Nablus,” 19 April 2009, http://www.paldf.net/forum/showthread.php?t=405084.

48 Raja Khalidi, “Under-the-Radar Palestinian Connections,” Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP), 24 June 2014, http://www.merip.org/under-radar-palestinian-connections.

49 Dayton, “Peace through Security,” 7 May 2009.

50 Aluf Benn, “Interview: Top US General Lays Foundation for Palestinian State,” Haaretz, 7 August 2008. For a range of reactions to the speech see Nathan Thrall, “Our Man in Palestine,” New York Review of Books, 14 October 2010.

51 Jodi Rudoren, “West Bank Leader Says Security Forces Can’t Get Guns,” New York Times, 12 May 2012.

52 Interviews by author, Ramallah, June 2011 and 2013.

53 International Crisis Group, Radical Islam in Gaza, Middle East Report no. 104 (29 March 2011), p. 25.

54 Interview, Jabaliya refugee camp, December 2010.

55 Interview with U.S. analyst, November 2009.

56 International Crisis Group, Palestine: Salvaging Fatah,Middle East Report no. 91 (12 November 2009), p. 27.

57 International Crisis Group, Tipping Point? Palestinians and the Search for a New Strategy, Middle East Report no. 95 (26 April 2010), p. 28 (emphasis mine).

58 Rory McCarthy, “West Bank Ends Torture of Hamas Captives,” Guardian, 13 January 2010.

59 Thrall, “Our Man in Palestine,” 14 October 2010.

60 Sayigh, “We Serve the People,” p. 32.

61 Ali Sawafta, “Rights Group Accuses PA and Hamas of Torture,” Reuters Africa, 17 May 2011.

62 Al-Haq, “Al-Haq tuhadhdhir min ‘awakib al-mumatila fi inha’ malf al-‘itiqal al-siyasi,” 15 June 2011.

63 Adnan Abu Amer, “Hamas Warns West Bank Arrests Could Derail Reconciliation,” Al-Monitor, 30 May 2014, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2014/05/palestine-hamas-mem....

64 Khalil Shaheen, “Quick Thoughts: Khalil Shaheen on Palestinian Reconciliation and the New Palestinian Authority Government,” Jadaliyya, 7 June 2014, http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/18049/quick-thoughts_khalil-shaheen....

65 See for example “68 Hamas Members Arrested Since Unity Deal,” Ma‘an News Agency, updated 19 July 2011.

66 The Status of Human Rights in Palestine: Eighteenth Annual Report, 2012 (Ramallah: ICHR, 2013), p. 25.

67 Interview, director of a human rights organization, Ramallah, June 2013.

68 The Status of Human Rights in Palestine: Nineteenth Annual Report (Ramallah: ICHR, 2014), p. 10.

69 The Status of Human Rights in Palestine: ICHR 20th Annual Report (Ramallah: ICHR, 2015), p. 17.

70 See Naela Khalil, “Al-Filastiniyun yadfa‘un thaman al-karahiya,” Arabic Media Internet Network, 14 March 2008, http://www.amin.org/articles.php?t=report&id=2162.

71 Usama Hamdan, interview, “Hamas ‘Foreign Minister’ Usama Hamdan Talks about National Reconciliation, Arafat, Reform, and Hamas’s Presence in Lebanon,” JPS 40, no. 3 (Spring 2011): p. 71 (emphasis in original).

72 Ismail Radwan, France 24 English channel, 19 May 2011.

73 Fares Akram and Jodi Rudoren, “Legacy of Hamas-Fatah Killings Complicates Palestinian Unity Efforts,” New York Times, 19 May 2014.

74 Interview, Gaza City, July 2011.

75 “Hamas Will Not Join Unity Govt without Minister of Prisoners,” Ma‘an News Agency, 2 June 2014.

76 “Hamas: PA Security Coordination with Israel Is a Crime,” Ma‘an News Agency, 20 June 2014.

77 Asmaa al-Ghoul, “Hamas Gains in Backlash to Abbas Speech,” Al-Monitor, 26 June 2014, http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/06/palestine-hamas-capita....

78 See Tariq Dana, “The Beginning of the End of Palestinian Security Coordination With Israel?,” Jadaliyya, 4 July 2014, http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/18379/the-beginning-of-the-end-ofpa....

79 Ali Sawafta, “Palestinian Leaders Say They’ll Cut Security Coordination with Israel,” Reuters, 5 March 2015, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-palestinian-israel-idUSKBN0M12B820150305.

80 For a sample of reactions, see the AJ+ mashup at https://www.facebook.com/ajplusarabi/videos/1009890995721112/.