Israel Issues Administrative Detention Orders against 15 Palestinian Prisoners

RAMALLAH, July 13, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli authorities Monday issued administrative detention orders against 15 Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC).

PPC said that all 15 prisoners have had their administrative detention sentence renewed for the second and third times, some of whom have been placed sporadically without charge or trial for years.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy which violates international law.

On Sunday, Israel released Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan, who spent over 55 days on a hunger strike to protest his illegal detention without charge or indictment, after reaching a deal with him to end his strike in return for his release.

To be noted, two Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are currently on a hunger strike for over 23 days now, in protest of their illegal detention without charge or trial. They were identified as Palestinian lawyer Muhammad Allan from Nablus, and Uday Isteiti from the Jenin refugee camp.

Prisoner support and Human Rights Association, Addameer, reported that, starting from July 1st, more than 60 administrative detainees held in Ofer, Naqab and Megiddo prisons have boycott the Israeli Occupation’s military courts in protest of the administrative detention policy and the false trials they are subjected to.

In a story published in June 2015, Addameer reported that, the Israeli Knesset is expected to present the force-feeding bill for voting in its second and third readings so that the law can be instated despite opposition from international organizations.

The bill is being passed under the pretext that it protects the lives of hunger strikers, despite force-feeding being widely considered a form of torture by the international community, including the World Medical Association, said the association.

The text of the Malta Declaration states: “Forcible feeding is never ethically acceptable. Even if intended to benefit, feeding accompanied by threats, coercion, force or use of physical restraints is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment. Equally unacceptable is the forced feeding of some detainees in order to intimidate or coerce other hunger strikers to stop fasting.

According to an OCHA report issued in May 2015, the monthly average of those held under administrative detention increased significantly to 327 in 2014, compared to 132 in 2013 and 245 in 2012.

According to the International Middle East Media Center, “There are currently around 500 detainees serving administrative detention in several Israeli jails, 18 of whom are members of the Palestinian Legislative Council.”

“Under administrative detention, defendant faces no clear criminal charge nor does he/she appear before the court of law for trial. This kind of detention has been widely used by the Israeli authorities against Palestinian prisoners,” said the Ministry of Information.

The ministry added that, “Although under international law, it is allowed under certain circumstances. However, because of the serious injury to due-process rights inherent in this measure and the obvious danger of its abuse, international law has placed rigid restrictions on its application a matter that Israel ignores and violates.”

According to international law, administrative detention can be used only in the most exceptional cases, as the last means available to preventing danger that cannot be thwarted by less harmful means. Yet Israel uses this form of collective punishment systematically.

Meanwhile, Israeli military courts have renewed the detention orders of around 40 prisoners, for different periods of time, under the pretext of completing investigations and judicial proceedings.