Middle East Monitor / April 8, 2022
Israeli occupation authorities have issued a total of 400 administrative detention orders issued since the beginning of 2022, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) said today in a statement.
Noting a dramatic increase in the use of this highly controversial measure, the PPS added that 210 orders were issued against Palestinian detainees for the first time, while 190 detainees had their administrative detention orders renewed.
The policy of administrative detention allows Israeli occupations authorities to detain Palestinians for up to six months without charge or trial and can be renewed indefinitely.
Qadoura Faris, head of the PPS, told Arab News: “The Israeli authorities have started resorting to implementing desperate measures in response to the recent confrontations between the Palestinians and the Israeli security forces, by escalating and expanding the circle of administrative detention, which has affected dozens recently.”
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.
Faris warned that this measure was likely to force many detainees to go on individual hunger strikes.
Tensions have already been running high in Israeli jails as Palestinian prisoners decided to escalate their protests since the start of the year, in rejection of the Israeli collective punitive measures declared after the Gilboa prison break.
“The administrative detention orders recently issued by the Israeli military authorities against the Palestinians will not achieve security for Israel. It is rather a show aimed at appearing helpless in the face of the escalation of the Palestinian resistance. The Israeli military has several ways to curb the resistance of the Palestinians,” said Faris.
The Israeli military authorities, he added, have renewed administrative detention orders for prisoners under the pretext that the security situation in the West Bank does not encourage their release. “But, what did these prisoners do against Israel’s security while in prison?” Faris questioned.
Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli jails have continued to refuse to appear for their court sessions for more than two months.
Faris accused international organizations of ignoring the plight of these prisoners, with many “coexisting with this policy” which they do not see as “a violation and intimidation and injustice against the Palestinians by Israel.”
Israel holds around 4,850 Palestinian prisoners, including 41 women and 225 children. There are 540 administrative detainees in its prisons.