147 days in, Palestine administrative detainees continue boycott of Israel courts

Ramallah - a demonstration in support of Palestinian poilitcal prisoners (Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  May 27, 2022

Palestinian prisoners being held in administrative detention by Israeli occupation forces have are continuing their boycott of military court proceedings in their cases for the 147th consecutive day.

Over 450 Palestinian administrative detainees are taking part in the strike to underscore the need to end this cruel, unjust practice that helps maintain Israel’s apartheid system against Palestinians.

“Israeli authorities have not responded to the detainees’ move until now,” Ayah Shreiteh, the spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club told the New Arab.

“The detainees’ leadership communicated to us that they are planning a new series of escalating moves that go all the way up to a collective hunger strike. There will be other protest moves that will be announced at their moment but a collective hunger strike as an option is present.”

Israeli authorities issued more than 1,500 administrative detention orders last year, according to a joint annual report by Palestinian prisoners’ rights groups, compared with a little over 1,100 orders in 2020.

The policy of administrative detention allows Israeli occupation authorities to detain Palestinians for up to six months without charge or trial and can be renewed indefinitely.

“Since the court hearings boycott started, lawyers have stopped attending the hearings on behalf of the detainees,” said Sahar Francis, director of Palestinian human rights group Addameer.

“This means that the Israeli military judges meet with the secret services and decide the detention renewals alone, without due process,” she added.

According to Amnesty International, Israel has for decades intentionally used administrative detention to hold individuals, including prisoners of conscience, solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association and to punish them for their views and activism.