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509 Palestinians detained in March

Image of Israeli security forces arresting a Palestinian man [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]
Image of Israeli security forces arresting a Palestinian [Mamoun Wazwaz/Apaimages]

Israeli forces detained 509 Palestinians across the occupied Palestinian territories in March, prisoners’ rights organisations said in a joint report yesterday.

The report – written by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights and Addameer – said that the detainees included 75 male teenagers, 11 women, two teenage girls, five journalists and one Palestinian minister.

    Administrative detention is the arrest and detention of individuals by the state without trial. Israel uses this to hold Palestinians for renewable periods of six months.

However, according to Ma’an documentation, at least six Palestinian MPs were detained in March.

Some 160 Palestinians were detained in occupied East Jerusalem, while 338 were detained in the occupied West Bank, and 11 were detained from the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the report.

The report added that 111 of these prisoners were being held under administrative detention.

Read: Israel arrested 16 Palestinian women and girls in March

The four groups who released the report strongly denounced “systematic Israeli violations of international law, which affect Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody,” and urged the international community to “take effective measures to get the occupation state [Israel] to respect the international law regarding human rights.”

The report came two days after the Palestinian Prisoners’ Centre for Studies estimated that Israeli authorities had detained some 1,360 Palestinians in the first three months of 2017.

According to Addameer, 6,500 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of January, including 53 women, 300 minors, and 536 held in administrative detention. The group has estimated that 40 per cent of Palestinian men have been detained by Israel at some point in their lives.

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