Palestinian MKs say Israeli emergency laws ‘intimidation’

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Maan News Agency | September 18, 2011

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset said Sunday that Israel’s proposal for emergency laws to crack down on protests surrounding the UN membership bid were an attempt at intimidation.

Israel’s Public Security Ministry told Israeli media on Saturday that the draft plans gave Israeli police powers to detain suspects for longer before handing them over to military or judicial authorities, and to use force against people being detained.

Palestinian Knesset members called the proposed regulations an erosion of the political rights of protesters, and warned they gave Israeli police unsupervised latitude.

MK Muhammad Barakeh, head of the Democratic List for Peace and Equality, told Ma’an the emergency laws were part of an exaggerated campaign to escalate the situation against the Palestinians.

Israel is trying to terrify Palestinians inside Israel and the West Bank, Barakeh said, while at the same time threatening the Palestinian Authority not to seek membership of the UN.

Palestinians inside Israel are preparing for the September bid, the parliament member said.

During an address to the nation from Ramallah on Friday, President Mahmoud Abbas stressed that any popular protests in support of the UN initiative should be peaceful.



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