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Palestinian prisoners continue administrative detention boycott, await talks

Families of Palestinian prisoners call for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in Gaza City [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Palestinian prisoners are maintaining their boycott of Israeli military courts as a protest against the practice of administrative detention, ahead of a reported meeting with Israeli officials.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, last Thursday an individual from the representative committee of administrative detainees informed their lawyers that a decision had been made to suspend “escalatory steps”, including “rejecting medicine and refusing to visit the medical clinics”.

Addameer explained that “the decision was made after the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) informed the detainees that a meeting will soon be held between the representative committee, representatives of the intelligence services, the army, and the IPS to discuss the policy of administrative detention.”

The Representative Committee stressed that, “despite the de-escalation, the boycott of court proceedings concerning administrative detention will continue and the planned steps will be undertaken if the meeting fails to materialise.”

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The boycott of all court proceedings has been ongoing since 15 February.

There are currently some 500 Palestinians in administrative detention, whereby Israeli occupation authorities can detain individuals without charge or trial for indefinitely renewable periods.

In its latest update, Addameer reaffirmed “that the way in which the occupation applies and utilises the policy of administrative detention does meet the standard as set forth under article 78 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Additionally, the method in which the policy is applied represents a grave violation of the Convention, as according to article 147, therefore making the act a war crime.”

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