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Israel's administrative detention keeps father, daughter apart for decades

Palestinian men sit in their brown prison uniforms behind glass talking on phones to relatives 05 March 2006 at the Gilboa prison, Israel [HAGAI AHARON/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinian men sit in their brown prison uniforms behind glass talking on phones to relatives 05 March 2006 at the Gilboa prison, Israel [HAGAI AHARON/AFP via Getty Images]

IsraeWhen his only daughter was born in April 1993, Jamal Taweel was in south Lebanon after he was exiled by Israeli forces for his membership in the Palestinian resistance group Hamas

"He was exiled to south Lebanon along with hundreds of Hamas leaders five months before the birth of our daughter Bushra," his wife, Montaha, 56, told Anadolu Agency.

Taweel was only allowed to return to the occupied West Bank to rejoin his family when his daughter was several months old.

"He saw her for the first time when she was 5 months old. However, he was arrested again before Bushra's first birthday and held under administrative detention," she said.

A former head of the Al-Bireh municipality, Taweel was detained by Israeli forces from outside his home that June 1. The following day, the Ofer military court issued an administrative detention order for him.

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Jump ahead nearly three decades to last November, and the same court issued an administrative detention order for his grown-up daughter, now 28, and then renewed it this March.

In protest of his daughter's administrative detention, Taweel has launched an open-ended hunger strike to demand her release.

Since he started his strike, Israeli authorities have been holding Taweel in isolation in Hasharon prison. He has been denied family visits.

"Is it fair to deny a family reunion just because of Israel's administrative detention and without any charge?" asked his wife.

The policy of administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to extend the detention of a prisoner without charge or trial.

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