Amnesty International (AI) said on Saturday that since 50 years ago, when Israel started the occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians have been barred from making any sort of political expression, even peaceful ones.
Referring to Military Order 101, a law that punishes Palestinians for peaceful political expression, the AI said any breaching of the order faces imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a hefty fine.
It noted that since 1967 Israel has detained hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, including women and children, under military orders.
Many of the Palestinians were detained for only attending peaceful protests that were considered to be political.
The display of flags or emblems and the publication of any document or image with politically significant content also need a permit from Israeli military.
“Raising the Palestinian flag in the West Bank or displaying the ‘wrong’ poster in a room is still a criminal act under Israeli military orders, unless an Israeli army commander authorizes it,” said AI.
“Virtually all cases of Palestinians brought before Israeli military courts end in convictions. Most convictions are the result of plea bargains. This is because Palestinian defendants know the entire system is so unfair that if they go on trial, they will be convicted and given a longer sentence,” it added.