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Thirty Palestinian Prisoners Held In Israel Go On Hunger Strike

The group is under administrative detention, an Israeli policy that imprisons them without charge or trial.

Thirty Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli jails have launched an indefinite hunger strike to protest their administrative detention, a policy that means they are held without charge or trial.

The Israeli authorities have been using this obscure legal procedure for more than half a century, based on secret evidence, to imprison people without charge or trial indefinitely.

Israel’s policy allows for the detention of Palestinians for renewable intervals, usually between three and six months. His imprisonment is based on undisclosed evidence that not even the detainee’s lawyer can see.

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Israel claims the policy is necessary for security reasons and allows the government to detain “dangerous suspects” without disclosing intelligence information.

Amnesty International has described Israel’s administrative detention policy as a “cruel and unjust practice that helps maintain Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians”.

Palestinians held in Israeli prisons without trial or charge.

The 30 prisoners in question issued a statement stating that their collective detention amounted to 200 years, according to Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoners Solidarity Network.

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

There are currently more than 743 Palestinian prisoners jailed under administrative detention orders out of a total of approximately 4,650 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, according to Addameer, a Palestinian prisoners’ rights group.

The last high-profile hunger strike to take place was that of Khalil Awawdeh, who went without food for 172 days. He ended his strike only after a written agreement was signed with the Israeli authorities to set a limit for his administrative detention and his release on October 2.

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According to the Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, 80 percent of administrative detainees have already spent time in detention.

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On September 21, the Israeli authorities re-imprisoned former administrative detainee Hisham Abu Hawash, who was released in February 2022 after a long hunger strike.

Ayman al-Tabeesh and Adel Hreibat, two other former long-term hunger strikers who were released from administrative detention, have also been rearrested.

Among those detained on hunger strike is also Franco-Palestinian lawyer and human rights activist Salah Hammouri, who is facing a revocation of his permanent resident status in Jerusalem for “violation of loyalty to the State of Israel”, according to Addameer.

The first time he was arrested was in 2001 for five months when he was only 16 years old. In 2004, he spent five months in jail under administrative detention. His third arrest was in 2005, when he was jailed for seven years. He has been in administrative detention since March 7, 2022.

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The president of the Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs, Qadri Abu Baker, told the new WAFA agency that a new group of 50 prisoners will join the hunger strike next Thursday.

According to Addameer, Israeli authorities issued 5,728 administrative detention orders against Palestinians in the Palestinian territories between 2017 and 2021.

In 2021, there was an increase of 1,695 orders, linked to a campaign of mass arrests by Israeli authorities during weeks of violence in May and June.

“For decades, Israel has intentionally used administrative detention to detain people, including prisoners of conscience detained solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association, to punish them for their opinions and activism,” Amnesty said.

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