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12 Palestinians on hunger strike in Israeli prisons

March 15, 2014 5:40 P.M. (Updated: March 16, 2014 7:49 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said on Saturday that 12 Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons are currently on hunger strike in protest against "arbitrary and repressive" measures taken by Israeli forces against them.

A report issued by the society said that Akras al-Fseisi, Moammar Banat, and Waheed Abu Maraya, all from Hebron governorate, have been on hunger strike for 66 days, and Amir al-Shams, also from Hebron, has been on strike for 64 days.

The report explained that the prisoners were engaged in a hunger strike against their administrative detention by Israeli forces without any charge.

Administrative detention refers to the tactic of keeping a prisoner without charge or trial for extended periods of time, often due to "security" concerns.

Israel routinely uses this tactic on detained Palestinians, even though international law stipulates it only be used in exceptional circumstances.

The report also said that the Hatem Sabarna, Ahmad Sabarna, and Shaher al-Heeh, also from Hebron governorate, are engaged in solidarity hunger strikes with those prisoners protesting their administrative detentions.

The report said that Kefah Hattab from Tulkarem has been on hunger strike for 42 days in order to demand recognition as a prisoner of war by Israel.

Ayman Atabish, Aref Haribat, Hamad Abu Ras, all from Hebron governorate, have spent 16 days on hunger strike to protest their administrative detentions as well.

The society did not identify the twelfth hunger striker.

According to Israeli human rights groups B'tselem, in Oct. 2013 140 Palestinians were being kept in administrative detention in Israeli prisons, down from a high of nearly 1,000 in 2002.

4,881 Palestinians were being held in Israeli jails as of Jan. 2014, according to Israeli human rights organization B'tselem. Another 1,415 were in Israeli prisons for being inside Israel without permits.

Under international law, it is illegal to transfer prisoners outside of the occupied territory in which they are detained, and the families of Palestinian prisoners' face many obstacles in obtaining permits to see their imprisoned relatives.
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