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Nearly 5,000 Palestinians behind bars in Israeli jails: Prisoners’ advocacy group

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Demonstrators take part in a rally marking Palestinian Prisoners' Day and calling for the release of jailed Palestinians held in Israeli jails, on April 17, 2019, Gaza City. (Photo by AFP)

A group advocating Palestinian prisoners’ rights says more than 4,800 Palestinians are currently behind bars in Israeli jails, including over 500 administrative detainees.

In a report on Sunday, the Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association said that Israeli authorities are holding 4,850 Palestinians in the regime’s jails, including 225 children and 41 women.

The figure also includes 540 administrative prisoners, the report said.

The so-called administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months, extendable an infinite number of times.

Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years without any charges brought against them.

Administrative detention is illegal under international law. However, the Israeli regime uses it to repress the Palestinian people.

In order to repress the Palestinian people, the Israeli regime routinely uses the "administrative detention", which is illegal under international law, and has over the years placed thousands of Palestinians behind bars for periods ranging from several months to several years.

The detention takes place on orders from a military commander and on the basis of what the Israeli regime describes as ‘secret’ evidence. 

Palestinians and human rights groups say "administrative detention" violates the right to due process since evidence is withheld from prisoners while they are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted.

Addameer further said that among the 4,850 prisoners, there are 12 Palestinian Legislative Council members, 70 Palestinians from the 1948 territories, 350 Palestinians from Jerusalem al-Quds, and 240 prisoners from the besieged Gaza Strip.

The group said that in June alone, 615 Palestinians, including 92 minors and 24 women, were detained by Israeli forces, while 100 administrative detention orders were also issued.

Last year, Israeli forces arrested 4,634 Palestinians, among them 543 children and 128 women, in addition to issuing 1,114 administrative detention orders, Addameer added.

The number of Palestinian prisoners and detainees by the end of March reached 4,450, including 37 women, 140 children, and 440 administrative detainees, it said, adding that by the end of May, the figure reached 4,277, including 435 administrative detainees.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detentions.

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