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3 Palestinian prisoners launch hunger strike

Israeli security forces take positions outside the Israeli-run Ofer prison, in the West Bank city [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]
Israeli security forces take positions outside the Israeli-run Ofer prison, in the West Bank city, 5 December 2017 [Shadi Hatem/Apaimages]

Three Palestinian prisoners imprisoned at Ofer Detention Centre, southwest of occupied Ramallah, launched an open-ended hunger strike to protest against their administrative detention, reported Wafa news agency.

The Prisoners Affairs Commission announced that Maher Al-Akhras, Mohammad Wahdan and Musa Zahran, are under administrative detention, a system that allows Israeli authorities to arrest and hold people without charge for prolonged periods.

Al-Akhras, a 49-year-old father of six children from Silat Ad-Daher town, south of Jenin, has been on hunger strike for 25 consecutive days.

He is currently in a critical condition, having been diagnosed with hypertension in 2018, and now suffering from significant weight loss.

Meanwhile, Wahdan, a resident of Rantis village, northwest of Ramallah, has been on hunger strike for 16 days in a row. He started his strike while he was in custody in the Israeli detention facility of Huwara, south of Nablus, before being transferred to Ofer.

Zahran, a resident of Ramallah, has been on hunger-strike for five consecutive days. Two days after beginning his strike, he was placed in solitary confinement.

READ: Israeli courts are like dense forests run by wolves

Thousands of men, as well as women and children, are held indefinitely and under horrendous conditions in detention centres dotted across the occupied territories without charge, without the possibility of appeal or knowing what charges are being levelled against them or even having been accused of committing a crime.

Last month, a report prepared by rights groups revealed that Israel issued 98 administrative detention orders, including 33 new and 65 renewed orders.

The rights groups stated that the number of Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails reached 4,500 by July 2020, including 41 women, 160 children and 360 under administrative detention.

The report was issued by the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Committee of Prisoners and Freed Prisoners, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association and Wadi Hilweh Information Centre.

The rights groups called for Israel to release all sick prisoners, as well as women and children, and requested the International Red Cross to increase the number of staff on its team in the occupied territories to assist in the urgent need of the prisoners and their families.

READ: 500 Palestinian prisoners have been in Israel jails for 15 years

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