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14 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike against detention without trial: Detainees' commission

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)
The file photo shows Palestinian inmates in an Israeli jail. (Photo by Wafa news agency)

A Palestinian commission for prisoners says fourteen Palestinian inmates are currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons in protest at their indefinite, unfair and unexplained imprisonment at the hands of the Tel Aviv regime.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Palestinian Commission of Detainees' and Ex-Detainees' Affairs said the fourteen Palestinian prisoners have gone on hunger strike to protest against the Tel Aviv regime’s so-called policy of administrative detention, which is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge, Palestine’s Wafa news agency reported.  

The commission further called on international human rights organizations as well as local humanitarian institutions to take immediate action to put an end to the Israeli maltreatment of the hunger-striking detainees, including solitary confinement,

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are held under "administrative detention", in which Israel keeps the detainees without charge for up to six months, a period which can be extended an infinite number of times. Women and minors are among those detainees.

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

Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.

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.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detention. Palestinians hold Israeli authorities fully responsible for any deterioration of the circumstances in jails.

The Israeli parliament, Knesset, has already approved a law which made way for Israel’s prison officials to force-feed hunger strikers if their condition becomes life-threatening.

Palestinian inmates have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences.

Over 540 detainees, including women and minors, are under Israel’s administrative detention.

Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to bring its use to an end. 

According to figures by the Defense for Children International, between 500 and 700 Palestinian children at the age of 12-17 are also arrested and tried in Israeli military courts every year. Israeli forces had arrested more than 17,000 minors since 2000.


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