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Palestinian detainees commission urges Israel to free inmate on hunger strike for over 39 days

Palestinian inmates in an Israeli jail.

A Palestinian commission for prisoners has urged Israel to free a Palestinian inmate who is currently on hunger strike in an Israeli jail in protest against his detention without charge at the hands of the Tel Aviv regime.

The Palestinian Commission of Detainees' and Ex-Detainees' Affairs said in a statement on Sunday that it has submitted an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court against the so-called administrative detention of 24-year old Palestinian prisoner Miqdad al-Qawasmi who is currently held in Ofer prison, and has been on hunger strike for 39 consecutive days in protest at his indefinite, unfair and unexplained imprisonment, Palestine’s Wafa news agency reported.  

Qawasmi, who is a resident of the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil, was detained in January this year. He has previously spent a total of four years in Israeli jails for resisting Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

Palestinian detainees continuously resort to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at their so-called administrative detention, which is a form of imprisonment in which the individual is never tried and can be held indefinitely.

The action is also in protest against the prison authorities’ negligence in providing medical care for the Palestinian prisoners.

Israeli jail authorities keep Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards.

The Palestinian inmates have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression.

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.

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

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

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.

The Israeli parliament, Knesset, has already approved a law that made way for prison officials to force-feed hunger strikers if their condition becomes life-threatening. The law sparked criticism from rights groups as a disrespect to the detainees’ choices. 

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