Hundreds of jailed Palestinians to launch hunger strike

About 500 Palestinians held in administrative detention in Israel are planning to go on a hunger strike next week. 

By: World Israel News Staff

Around 500 Palestinians being held by Israel on suspicion of terrorist activity, but without a formal indictment leveled against them, are planning a hunger strike in protest next week.

Issa Karaka, the PA minister of prisoners’ affairs, told Voice of Palestine radio that the strike will be implemented in stages with increasing numbers of prisoners participating and will add to the ongoing administrative detainees’ protest which has so far involved boycotting Israeli courts.

Earlier this month, an Israeli guard working at Eshel Prison was hospitalized after a Hamas prisoner poured boiling water from a kettle over him.

Administrative detention allows Israel to detain people without charge or trial for renewable six-month periods. When their terms are renewed, detainees appear before Israeli military courts — often without full knowledge of the allegations against them.

It is used against suspected terrorists — both Palestinian and Jewish.

Shin Bet and Israel Police use administrative detention against groups of Jewish teens and young adults known as hilltop youths, who live in unauthorized outposts in Judea and Samaria and are suspected of vandalism and violence against Palestinians.

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Israel says the use of administrative detention against suspects is intended to allow authorities to hold dangerous suspects while continuing to gather evidence, in order to prevent attacks in the meantime.

But the measure has been criticized by human rights groups, and members of the international community who claim Israel abuses the policy. Far-right Israeli activists have also complained about the use of administrative orders against them.