77 Detainees Start Hunger Strike in Solidarity with 5 Hunger Strikers

RAMALLAH, August 8, 2016 (WAFA) – Seventy seven Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails have begun an open-ended hunger strike in solidarity with five hunger striking administrative detainees, according to the Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs.

The commission said the five detainees – namely Belal Kayed, Mohammad Balboul, Mahmoud Balboul, Ayyad Heremi, and Malek Qadi – have seen rapid deterioration in their health conditions due to their continuing hunger strike in protest of being detained without charge or trial.

The commission also warned about the serious health condition of detainee Belal Kayed who has been on hunger strike for 57 days, saying he could die at any moment.

Under administrative detention rules, Israel may detain Palestinians without charge or trial for up to six month intervals that can be renewed indefinitely by military courts on the basis of secret evidence.

The international community and many human rights groups, including Israeli and Palestinian, have strongly criticized the administrative detention policy, accusing Israel of using it as a routine form of collective punishment against Palestinians as well as using it when failing to obtain confessions during interrogation.

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.

Addameer human rights association stated “Administrative detention in the OPT is ordered by a military commander and grounded on “security reasons. Detainees are held without trial and without being told the evidence against them.”

In most cases, they are simply informed that there is “secret evidence’ against them and that they are being held for security reasons.”