Israel sentences 7 Palestinians to detention without charge or trial
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israel’s Ofer military court Thursday sentenced seven Palestinians to detention without charge or trial for periods between three to six months, according to a statement released by the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).The statement said that Palestinian prisoners Bassam Mteir Asmar and Imad Omar Abu al-Heija were sentenced to six months of administrative detention, while prisoners Muhammad Abed al-Raouf Hamel, Muhammad Youssef Khlouf, and Muhammad Fouad Eweis were sentenced to four months.Palestinian prisoners Amer Ashraf Jadallah and Mutaz Muhammad al-Muhtaseb were also sentenced to three months of administrative detention.
Israel’s policy of administrative detention — internment without charge or trial for three to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence — has been widely condemned by the international community.Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have claimed that the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.Since Israel considers the majority of Palestinian political factions illegal, designating them as “terrorist organizations,” Palestinian communities are highly vulnerable to arbitrary detentions by Israeli forces, as most Palestinian families are affiliated with one of several Palestinian parties.Rights groups have also charged Israel of using its policy of administrative detention, which is almost exclusively used against Palestinians, as a way of eroding Palestinian democracy and family life, while enabling Israeli authorities to detain Palestinian activists and journalists for extended periods of time without evidence of any wrongdoing.Bilal Kayid, a Palestinian prisoner affiliated with the leftist PFLP faction, launched a hunger strike
on June 14 in protest of being placed under administrative detention on the day he was scheduled to be released after completing a 14-and-a-half-year prison sentence.Since then, a mass hunger strike has been ongoing, with the al-Balboul brothers declaring a hunger strike
earlier in July after being placed in administrative detention while other Palestinian prisoners have undertaken short-term solidarity hunger strikes through a rolling system, as 100 prisoners went on hunger strike
on Wednesday to demand an end to Israel’s arbitrary detention of Palestinians.According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were being held by Israel as of May, 715 of whom were held in administrative detention.