Prisoner Goes on 9th Hunger Strike over Administrative Detention

RAMALLAH, January 14, 2015 (WAFA) – A Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails has announced an open-ended hunger strike over the renewal of his administrative detention for the ninth consecutive time, according to the prisoner’s family.

The family of the prisoner, Mohammad Shalatweh from the village of Aboud in the West Bank, said its son, Mohammad, has been incarcerated in Israeli jails for three years without a charge or trial. He was recently sentenced to serve a new three-month period in jail.

Shalatweh’s family said the Israeli Prison Service told him he was to choose between leaving the country and remaining in prison for an indefinite renewable period.

Shalatweh, like many other administrative detainees, is being held in Israeli jails under the Israeli policy of administrative detention, where the prisoner is indefinitely held on alleged security grounds cited by the Israeli intelligence agency, Shin Bet.

“The frequency of the use of administrative detention has fluctuated throughout Israel’s occupation, and has been steadily rising since the outbreak of the second intifada in September 2000”, according to Addameer, a local human rights organization.

In the case of Palestinian detainees, Israel routinely uses administrative detention. Statistics show that over the years, thousands of Palestinians have been held in Israeli custody as administrative detainees for extended periods of time. In October 2014, 500 prisoners were held without charge or trial; 18 of whom are members of the legislative council.

“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 has used this form of collective punishment systematically,” says the Ministry of Information.

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.