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Palestinian prisoners escalate action against Israeli ‘administrative detention’

June 5, 2023 at 11:36 am

People, holding photos of prisoners, gather for a solidarity demonstration for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails in front of Red Cross building in Ramallah, West Bank on May 30, 2023. [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

The Palestinian National Prisoners’ Movement announced on Sunday the formation of a special sub-committee for prisoners held by Israel under so-called “administrative detention”, as the prisoners themselves prepare to “escalate” action against the process by which they are held with neither charge nor trial. According to the movement’s Supreme National Emergency Committee, the action will include an open-ended hunger strike.

“We call for support for the prisoners in their strike in honour of the martyr Khader Adnan,” added the committee. “This should sound the alarm that what was essentially the execution of the prisoner on hunger strike should not be repeated with anyone else.”

The committee statement also called for legal, human rights and media institutions within and beyond Palestine to “stand up to their responsibilities” in challenging such an unjust detention system, which is a leftover from the era of the British Mandate occupation of Palestine. “They should support the administrative detention prisoners in their struggle against this criminal system employed by the occupation authorities.”

It also called for free people around the world to campaign in solidarity with prisoner Walid Daqqa and put pressure on the Israeli occupation to release him before it is too late. Daqqa has been detained since 1986 and was sentenced to life imprisonment for resisting the occupation. He is suffering from cancer and his health continues to deteriorate due to what is said to be medical neglect by the Israeli prison authority.

The Prisoners’ Information Office accused the Israeli occupation of killing Daqqa slowly by keeping him in the clinic of Al-Ramla Prison where treatment is very basic and ineffective. It is said that it is such a brutal place that prisoners prefer not to go there despite their urgent need for treatment and care.

On Thursday, Waed Prisoners’ Affairs Association said that at least 750 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons are suffering from chronic and serious illnesses, 23 of whom have cancer. The association pointed out that the increasing number of sick prisoners confirms that Israel’s “deliberate medical negligence is as bad as ever, especially in recent months.”

READ: Around 160 Palestine prisoners in critical condition in Israel jails