Days of Palestine – Ramallah
Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons have decided to reject the lunch and dinner meals today, in a token of support for six fellow prisoners who have been on hunger strike in protest of their indefinite detention without charge or trial, the Palestinian Authority’s Detainees Affairs Commission has said.
The protest step comes as six Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention remain on hunger strike in protest of their indefinite administrative detention without a charge or trial, the oldest of whom is Kayed al-Fasfous who has been on hunger strike for 116 days.
The other prisoners are Miqdad Qawasmeh, who has been on hunger strike for 109 days, Alaa Aaraj (92 days), Hesham Abu Hawwash (82 days), Ayyad Hureimi (46 days) and Lo’ai al-Ashqar (28 days).
Hasan Abed Rabbo, a spokesman for the Commission, said that the health conditions of the hunger-strikers are very critical, especially Fasfous and Qawasmeh who have been in hospital following serious deterioration in their health conditions, including irregular heart beats and serious decline in body fluids and vitamins.
The six prisoners have been demanding an end of their detention without charge or trial and based on the so-called secret file which even their lawyers are not allowed to view.
On October 14, the Israeli High Court issued a verdict freezing the administrative detention of al-Fasfous, who is being treated at Israel’s Barzilai Medical Center due to his critical health condition. However a week later, an Israeli court reinstated his administrative detention, without charge or trial, despite the serious deterioration in his health.
Also on October 6, an Israeli court issued a verdict freezing the administrative detention of Qawasmeh.
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However on Thursday, the court reinstated the detention order.
Israel’s widely condemned policy of administrative detention allows the Israeli military to hold Palestinians in prisons indefinitely based on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.
The period of administrative detention orders ranges between four to six months without trial, and is based on a “secret file” provided by the Israeli intelligence service and is renewed successively.
Two weeks ago, UN experts expressed grave fear for the lives of the hunger strikers, and called on Israel to either release or charge the prisoners, and to completely end its unlawful practice of administrative detention.
“In violation of international law, Israel continues to use administrative detention to imprison more than 500 Palestinians — including six children — without charges, without trials, without convictions, all based on classified secret information that the detainees have no access to,” the experts said. “They have no recourse to challenging these undisclosed allegations, and they do not know when, or if, they are going to be released.”