Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners currently being held in Israeli jails and detention facilities are expected to launch a hunger strike next week in protest against their detention without charge or trial.
Head of the Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said in a statement that some 500 Palestinian inmates have been boycotting Israeli courts since February, and demanding an end to Israel’s policy of administrative detention – a controversial form of imprisonment that allows Israeli authorities to detain individuals indefinitely without charge, trial or access to counsel.
Qaraqe added that the detainees would be “escalating measures” in early June, and would be launching a widespread hunger strike.
The administrative detainees are calling upon people from all walks of the Palestinian nation to support their action, the Palestinian official said.
Qaraqe further noted that he expects Israeli authorities to “exercise unprecedented repression and isolate the inmates” during the strike.
More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.
Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.