Occupied Jerusalem - The Israeli establishment has used the war on Gaza to restrict the 48 Palestinians, by reducing the space for freedoms, banning demonstrations and expression, and expanding the circle of political and judicial prosecution, in order to prevent them from solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza and condemning the war, in an effort to separate them from the Palestinian people.

Since the Qassam Brigades' "Al-Aqsa Flood" battle against the "Gaza envelope" settlements and Israeli military barracks in the south, Israeli police have arrested more than 400 of the 48 Palestinians.

Police subjected the detainees to investigation for allegedly "supporting terrorist organizations", "incitement" and identification with the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) through social media posts and tweets, while indictments were filed against 60 people, according to the Israeli Public Prosecution.

The Israeli measures carried out against the 48 Palestinians, who number two million people, who make up about 20% of Israel's population, under the cover of using emergency regulations in light of war.

This came through the Knesset's approval of a law prohibiting individuals from "consuming content and content that supports terrorism," and imposing an effective prison sentence of one year for those convicted of doing so, provided that the law remains in force for two years with the possibility of extending it.

According to the law, it prohibits people in Israel from "consuming terrorist content and content" issued by what it describes as "terrorist organizations" covered by the law, namely Hamas and the Islamic State (IS), as the law aims to combat and prevent such content in order to prevent what it describes as "terrorist attacks."

In addition, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the expansion of the Anti-Terrorism Law and granted powers to Israel's defense minister to declare a citizen a "terrorist activist," as well as drafting a memorandum of law authorizing the revocation of residency and citizenship of Israeli citizens for allegedly "inciting and supporting terrorism in time of war."

Former MP Haneen Zoabi arrested for participating in a stand in Nazareth against the war on Gaza (Al Jazeera)

Arab leaders arrested

With the legalization of these measures, the Israeli police escalated its repressive operations, which affected many political and public leaders of the 48 Palestinians, led by the head of the Arab Higher Follow-up Committee, Muhammad Baraka, where they were arrested on Thursday, subjected to interrogations for hours and prevented from organizing any demonstration in support of Gaza and condemning the Israeli war.

In addition to Baraka, the Israeli police arrested National Rally leader Sami Abu Shehadeh, former MPs Haneen Zoabi and Emtanes Shehadeh, and follow-up committee members Youssef Tatour and Mahmoud Mawasi, while they were in Nazareth City's Al-Ain Square, where they staged a protest against the Israeli war on Gaza.

The police crackdown against 48 Palestinians received judicial support after the Israeli Supreme Court on Wednesday evening rejected a petition filed by the Adalah Human Rights Center, the Democratic Front and the Communist Party to allow demonstrations and marches in um al-Fahm and Nazareth against the war on Gaza, but the court accepted police appeals that organizing the demonstrations would "inflame and inflame the situation inside."

Provocative actions

He described the director of the center "Adalah" lawyer Hassan Jabarin, who accompanied the detainees of Arab leaders, Israeli police actions "provocative to the Arab masses," saying in a press statement to Al Jazeera Net that "these procedures and arrests are unjustified and do not depend on any legal basis, and are only a direct targeting of all leaders with the aim of terrorizing and intimidating the Arab masses."

Jabarin explained that the police took measures contrary to their powers, and imposed penalties on detained Arab leaders outside what is stipulated in the law, as their release remains conditional on imposing restrictions on all leaders and deporting them from the city of Nazareth for 14 days, which is a systematic policy of the police in dealing with 48 Palestinians in light of the war.

Israeli police prohibit 48 Palestinians from organizing any demonstrations against the war on Gaza (Al Jazeera)

Jabarin strongly criticized the police and the Israeli Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, and held him responsible for and the repercussions of these provocative measures against Palestinians inside, pointing out that this approach and unjustified arrests aim to inflame the situation and raise tension among the 48 Palestinians, by pursuing and targeting their leaders without any justification.

The same argument was adopted by the former MP of the National Assembly, Dr. Emtanes Shehadeh, who stressed that these arrests and investigations are in addition to the prosecution of the Palestinian 48 and the Israeli institution's attempt to criminalize political action, pointing out that the police that implement the policies of the Israeli institution continue their hostile approach against any moral and humanitarian position, activity or expression against the war on Gaza.

Shehadeh pointed out to Al Jazeera Net that the demand to stop the war has become a global demand, and therefore the policy of muzzling voices and police and judicial prosecution practiced by the Israeli authorities with its various arms against the Palestinian 48 and their leadership does not mean that the Arab masses at home abandon their humanitarian and moral position against the war, and the national position and the constants of the Palestinian cause.

Chairman of the Arab Higher Follow-up Committee Mohamed Baraka (Al Jazeera Net)

Silencing voices

Commenting on the arrests carried out by the police and the ban on demonstrations in solidarity with Gaza, the head of the follow-up committee, Mohammed Baraka, said, immediately after his release, that "these measures prove that the Israeli war machine wants to silence voices against the war."

He pointed out, in a video speech, that the process of arresting him and taking him to the police station was similar to a commando operation, adding, "They closed the main street inside Nazareth from all directions, intercepted my vehicles and removed me from them without any justification, and took me to the police station for interrogation."

Baraka explained that the police investigations with some Arab leaders and follow-up centered on the prohibition and prevention of demonstrations against the war and solidarity with Gaza, stressing in a press statement received by Al Jazeera Net a copy of it that "the Arab masses will not allow to silence their voice."

Baraka said that "our position is clear and humane, our voice and our position are hostile to war and harming the innocent, and therefore they will not drop the voice of the follow-up committee and the Palestinian Arab masses in the country."

He pointed out that the police warned him - as well as the rest of the leaders who were detained and subjected to investigation - of the consequences of initiating any demonstrations against the war, as the police threatened the leaders that any such activity will lead to the opening of files against them and bring them to trial.

He stressed that all leaders are bound by the political position and the cause of the Palestinian people and democracy, as well as to act according to the capabilities available to the Palestinians of 48, saying, "We have not declared war on anyone, but whoever wants to declare war on us must understand that this will not dissuade us from our national and humanitarian positions."