Shin Beit continues to make citizens disappear: activist Ameer Makhoul arrested; Israeli media not allowed to report

Posted: May 8th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: In the News | Tags: , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Ameer Makhoul, director of the Israeli Palestinian human rights NGO, Ittijah, was arrested last week by Israeli police. The arrest happened Thursday, on 3 AM. According to his wife, Jnan, 16 policemen took part in the raid. They confiscated all the computers in the house, as well as documents, cell phones other personal material. The following morning the police also raided the offices of Ittijah and confiscated computers.

A gag order has been issued on the affair. Makhoul is an Israeli citizen; he lives with his family in Haifa.

The arrest has been reported by Richard Silberstein and JTA. Hebrew bloggers Idan Landau, Rehavia Berman and Yossi Gurevitz also wrote about it.

A day before his arrest, Makhoul announced his support for boycotting Israeli products from the settlements. Yet according to his wife, the warrant for his arrest was signed on April 23ed, so the reason for the arrest remains unclear. Since the charges against Makhoul are not made public, it is impossible to know whether it is another example to how Israel is beginning to persecute and arrest people for their views and for none-violate actions, or is it indeed a real case of national security. I guess that the gag order was an attempt to avoid exactly those kinds of questions.

here are pictures from the Makhoul family’s’ apartment after the police left it:



Update: blogger Idan Landau is reporting another arrest of an Israeli Arab activist. Dr. Omar Saaid was picked up by Shin Beit on the Jordainian border crossing on April 25, and since then was not allowed to talk to a lawyer or meet with his family. the charges against him weren’t made public.

10 Comments on “Shin Beit continues to make citizens disappear: activist Ameer Makhoul arrested; Israeli media not allowed to report”

  1. 1 RTB612 said at 5:27 am on May 9th, 2010:

    Lets hope theres a reasonable explanation, just as there was for the publication delay of the details on the Kam affair, who did steal 2.000 military documents.

  2. 2 noam said at 7:27 am on May 9th, 2010:

    there was no way to explain the gag order on the Anat kam arrest – no matter how you see her actions.

    I agree with Idan Landau. most chances both of the Arab Israelis arrested will be charged with “illegal contact with a foreign agent”, which is something you can put on almost any activist, and the Israeli public will think we just caught two bad-ass terrorists. but i might be mistaken.

  3. 3 sam said at 10:34 am on May 9th, 2010:

    scary place, there go the summer trip plans,
    think spain now.

  4. 4 Jason said at 7:58 pm on May 9th, 2010:

    I can’t believe Israel is behind things like that. For me that name alwways meant good things – but lately more and more information contradicts this perspective. I am happy to be dissociated from it.

  5. 5 Lets be realistic said at 11:00 pm on May 9th, 2010:

    Was there even one case of a false arrest without the person being quickly released?
    Guys the same story was with Azmi Bshara and he turned out to be a Hezbollah spy.
    The only reason for the initial cover up with anat kam was due to the negotiations with the traitor uri blau for the returning of the stolen documents.
    we shell wait and see what will be the charges and if there was a contact with a foreign agent then he should be charged for it. why can’t you understand that over here it’s possible?

  6. 6 noam said at 11:43 pm on May 9th, 2010:

    realistic: according to your logic, if a person is not released that means he was guilty? if that’s so, you can’t prove a false arrest ever: if he is released, that all is OK, and if he is not, he probably deserved it…

    could it just be that a person is framed? could the Shin Beit lie to court? could the court be wrong? all of these, and more, happened here before.

  7. 7 mick said at 2:19 am on May 10th, 2010:

    he was arrested because he did something wrong
    and non of your bickering and wolf crying will suffice
    he did something wrong and he was arrested for it

  8. 8 Yair said at 3:44 am on May 10th, 2010:

    But what about some details?
    So far you are writing almost nothing. Many Israelis approved the boycotting, though none was arrested for that.

    As for Anat Kam, she was in house detantion for Uri Blau’s lies, and not for her deeds.

  9. 9 Yan said at 4:08 am on May 10th, 2010:

    Just the fact that this case is causing such a big stir in the Israeli-Arab community in Israel shows how rare and unusual this case is. The Shin-Bet doesn’t just take activists (arabs or jews) from their home for no reason. This individual must have done (or planned on doing) something really serious. There are plenty of Arab-Israeli activists who openly call for the destruction of Israel and the police does not arrest them because they have freedom of speech in Israel. So I wouldn’t just jump ahead and assume that this is some “dark” matter. When it comes to state security it is understandble that gag orders are issued temporarily just like in every other country in the world when it deals with internal security.

  10. 10 yan said at 4:25 am on May 10th, 2010:

    by the way, the gag order has already been lifted in Israel. Two people were arrested for suspicion of spying for the Huzballa. Last time that happend (with MK Azmi Bshara) it turned out to be true and the suspect escaped to another country because he was informed in advance. So perhaps you understand now why a gag order is neccesary…