500 Palestinian prisoners continue boycott of Israeli courts

Two Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli prisons currently remain on hunger strike.

Jerusalem: Nearly 500 Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli prisons have been boycotting Israeli military courts for the 120th consecutive day, in protest of their unfair detention without charge or trial under Israel’s controversial administrative detention policy.

On January 1, 2022, administrative prisoners began a collective boycott by refusing to participate in military court procedures.

The boycott includes hearings to renew administrative detention orders as well as appeals hearings and subsequent hearings in the Israeli Supreme Court.

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Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa, said that; “Palestinian human rights defenders, journalists, academics, and others have suffered from this cruel and inhuman practice and have been protesting it for decades, including through hunger strikes.”

Two Palestinian administrative detainees in Israeli prisons currently remain on hunger strike.

40-year-old Khalil Awawdeh, from the town of Idna, in the southern West Bank Hebron district, has been on hunger strike for 58 days in protest against his prolonged administrative detention without charge or trial.

The other prisoner, 27-year-old Ra’ed Rayyan, from the village of Bayt Duqu in the West Bank province of Jerusalem, has been on hunger strike for 24 days demanding the termination of his detention without charge or trial.

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

Israel has used administrative detention for decades to deliberately detain individuals, including prisoners of conscience, who are detained solely for the exercise or observance of their rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and association, to punish them for their opinions and activism.

As of January, the number of Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails was 4,500, including 500 held under administrative detention – without charge or trial.

Israeli authorities have used administrative detention orders since their occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967.

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