New Article: Abu Sitta and Rempel, The ICRC and the Detention of Palestinian Civilians in Israel’s 1948 POW/Labor Camps

Abu Sitta, Salman and Terry Rempel. “The ICRC and the Detention of Palestinian Civilians in Israel’s 1948 POW/Labor Camps.” Journal of Palestine Studies 43.4 (2014): 11-38.

URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/jps.2014.43.4.11

Abstract

The internment of thousands of Palestinian civilians in Israeli-run prisoner of war camps is a relatively little known episode in the 1948 war. This article begins to piece together the story from the dual perspective of the former civilian internees and of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Aside from the day-to-day treatment of the internees, ICRC reports focused on the legal and humanitarian implications of civilian internment and on Israeli’s resort to forced labor to support its war effort. Most of the 5,000 or so Palestinian civilians held in four official camps were reduced to conditions described by one ICRC official as ‘slavery’ and then expelled from the country at the end of the war. Notwithstanding their shortcoming, the ICRC records constitute an important contribution to the story of these prisoners and also expose the organization’s ineffectiveness–absent a legal framework as well as enforcement mechanisms beyond moral persuasion, the ICRC could do little to intervene on behalf of the internees.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s