The United Nations on Friday renewed its call on the Israeli occupation to end the illegal practice of administrative detention of Palestinian activists.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the United Nations Secretary-General, said in a press briefing that the United Nations has repeatedly called on the Israeli occupation to end the practice of administrative detention of Palestinians, either by releasing or charging them.
Asked by a reporter about the continuous Israeli administrative detention of French-Palestinian lawyer Salah Hammouri, who was on hunger strike along with 29 other Palestinian administrative detainees demanding an end to their illegal incarceration, Dujarric said that the Secretary-General is closely following the case of Hammouri and other Palestinian administrative detainees.
“We are closely following the situation of Mr. Hammouri and other Palestinian administrative detainees held by Israel. We’re aware that there are about 30 detainees, including him, who’ve recently ended their hunger strike, which had been going on since September. And obviously, we have… as you know, we have repeatedly called for Israel to end the practice of administration detainees by either releasing people or charging them when there are grounds to do so,” he said.
This call comes in the wake of a statement issued by human rights experts last week on the situation of Palestinian detainees, expressing their deep concern about the widespread misuse of administrative and criminal law procedures by the Israeli occupation, and its use of confidential information against Palestinians, including human rights defenders such as Hammouri.
They stressed that the occupation authorities targeted Hammouri during the past 20 years with harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention and other forms of violations, noting that retaliatory measures against him intensified after he became a human rights defender and lawyer defending the rights of prisoners through Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, one of six Palestinian civil society organizations that the Israeli occupation authorities have been harassing for exposing their illegal practices and eventually deemed them illegal and forced them shut.
The 30 administrative detainees suspended on October 13 their hunger strike, which lasted for 19 days, to give a chance to the prisoners’ representatives to address their issue with the Israeli authorities.
More than 780 Palestinians are currently held in administrative detention without charge or trial; including at least six minors and two women.
From 2015 until this year, the occupation authorities issued more than 9,500 administrative detention orders, and since the beginning of this year, they have issued about 1,365 administrative detention orders, the highest of which was in August, reaching 272 orders.
Since late 2011, the prisoners carried out more than 400 individual strikes, most of them against administrative detention, and several were able through their hunger strikes, some of which lasted for more than 100 days, to force the Israeli authorities to end their detention.