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24th day of Palestinian administrative detainees’ boycott of Israel courts

January 24, 2022 at 4:01 pm

Palestinians holding banners gather to protest against the decision of Israel’s administrative detention policy on 20 December 2021 [Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency]

Palestinians held in administrative detention in Israeli prisons have reached their 24th day of their boycott of Israel’s military courts in the occupied West Bank, reported Wafa news agency.

In an escalatory step agreed by Palestinian political parties, all 500 administrative detainees in Israeli prisons began the new year by refusing to show up for their court sessions.

The move comes in protest against the Israeli policy of administrative detention, which gives Israeli military authorities the powers to detain Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable periods of up to six months.

Under the banner, “Our decision is freedom … no to administrative detention,” administrative detainees said in a statement their move comes as a continuation of longstanding Palestinian efforts “to put an end to the unjust administrative detention practiced against our people by the occupation forces”.

They also noted that Israel’s use of the policy has expanded in recent years to include women, children and elderly people.

READ: The use and abuse of administrative detention by Israel

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detention. They have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.

“Israeli military courts are an important aspect for the occupation in its system of oppression,” the detainees added, describing the courts as a “barbaric, racist tool that has consumed hundreds of years from the lives of our people under the banner of administrative detention, through nominal and fictitious courts – the results of which are predetermined by the military commander of the region”.

Israel detains about 5,000 Palestinians, including about 500 prisoners in administrative detention.

Human rights groups describe Israel’s use of the practice as “systematic and arbitrary”, and as a form of collective punishment, noting that its extensive use constitutes a violation of international law “particularly relating to internationally recognised principles of a fair trial.”