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Israel holds almost 1,000 Palestinians with neither charge nor trial

March 27, 2023 at 8:51 am

People gather in front of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for the protest over Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, in Gaza City, Gaza on March 20, 2023. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

Israel is currently holding 967 Palestinians in prison with neither charge nor trial, Haaretz revealed on Sunday. The Israeli daily pointed out that this is the largest number of Palestinian prisoners held under so-called administrative detention for twenty years.

Data about the detainees was provided by the Israeli occupation army to a local rights group. It confirmed that the total number of administrative detainees is 971, of which 967 are Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Palestine occupied in 1948 (Israel). Ninety per cent of the administrative detention orders were approved by military courts, the army confirmed.

Administrative detention is a leftover from the British Mandate occupation era. Detainees are held without charge or trial for six-monthly periods which are renewable endlessly solely on the basis of secret evidence that neither detainees nor their lawyers are shown. Israel is one of the very few countries to use such a system.

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