The Military Commissions in Guantanamo and the Military Courts in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: A Comparative Analysis
Israel Defense Forces Law Review, Forthcoming
Posted: 15 Jun 2006
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks by members of the el-Qaeda terrorist organization, America declared war against this terrorist organization and went to war in Afghanistan. Five hundred and eighty-five al-Qaeda and Taliban members were eventually taken to a detention center in a naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
These detainees, not recognized as prisoners of war, are held in captivity by virtue of their being "enemy combatants". There are two review mechanisms in place for the detentions: the first, the Combatant Status Review panels, examine whether the detainees are enemy combatants, while the second, the Detainee Administrative Review panels, conduct annual examinations as to the need for continued detention. The purpose of this paper is to examine the legal basis and procedures of the Military Commissions, alongside the legal basis and procedures of the Israeli Military Courts in the West Bank (and the Israeli Military Courts in the Gaza Strip, prior to the Israeli Disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005). An attempt will be made to compare and contrast the two.
Keywords: Military commission, Military Courts, Geneva Conventions, Security Legislation, presidential order, guantanamo, Terrorists
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