Ariel: Limit Use of Administrative Detention

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel says administrative detention should only be reserved for 'ticking bombs.'

Yedidyah Ben-Or ,

Uri Ariel
Uri Ariel
Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) urged the defense establishment on Thursday to reduce its use of administrative detention. 

Ariel made the call on Army Radio in reaction to the High Court's decision Wednesday night to cancel the detention of hunger-striking terrorist prisoner Mohammad Allan. 

"This case saw mistake after mistake," Ariel argued. "My problem is not with the High Court, but with representatives of the state. They could not find one doctor in Israel who would feed him."

"Because the state did not do what it was supposed to," Ariel asserts, "it has created a situation here that is beyond strange. The High Court should should have ordered the state to force-feed him."

As to administrative detention, Ariel stressed it could not become a routine tool of the state, but should only be confined to cases of "ticking bombs."

Under administrative detention, a relic from the British mandate period, detainees face six months of endlessly renewable detention without any evidence required.

"Israel's use of administrative detention is too extensive," Ariel contended. "It's not good by definition and we should change it from the ground up."

"I have worked in the past on this and prepared a bill, but unfortunately it wasn't able to pass then. I hope we can change things using logic, common sense and human rights."

Ariel's position has echoes of his party chairman, Naftali Bennett, who last week said administrative detention should be used "sparingly, and with great caution."

Unlike Bennett, however, Ariel made no mention of supporting the use of administrative detention for Jews as well as Palestinians