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30 Palestinian prisoners go on hunger strike against Israeli policy

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 are seen marking the Palestinian Prisoners' Day in Ramallah, the occupied West Bank, April 17, 2022. (File photo by AFP)

Thirty Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails have gone on an open-ended hunger strike against their administrative detention.

The official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported on Sunday that the prisoners said in a statement that their collective detention amounted to 200 years, according to Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

“Hundreds of years, during which the occupation prevented us from embracing our families or seeing our children as they were born or growing up. We never celebrated their birthdays, we did not accompany them on their first school day,” the statement said.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are currently being held under the administrative detention policy. Israel’s administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge. The Israeli regime keeps the detainees without charge for up to six months; a period which can be extended indefinitely.

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Geneva Convention.

The Palestinian prisoners are kept under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. They have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.

The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as many human rights group have frequently expressed serious concern about health condition of the prisoners on hunger strike.

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

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