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2 Palestinians held in Israeli prison without charge or trial enter 10th day of hunger strike

Oct. 13, 2016 5:42 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 16, 2016 3:23 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Two Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons entered the 10th day of a hunger strike in protest of being sentenced to administrative detention -- Israel’s widely condemned policy of internment without charge or trial, according to a lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).

Majd Abu Shamla, 25, and Hassan Rabayaa, 31, both from the northern occupied West Bank district of Jenin, reportedly entered the 10th day of their hunger strikes after being placed in administrative detention, PPS said in a statement.

Following a visit to Israel's Ktziot prison in the Negev where the two are being held, PPS reported that Abu Shamla has suffered from stomach complications and exhaustion due to his strike, while Rabayaa has experienced dizziness and exhaustion.

Both prisoners were only drinking water and consuming salt during their strikes, while refusing any vitamin supplements.

The prisoners told the PPS lawyer that Israel Prison Service (IPS) was planning on transferring the two to solitary confinement on Thursday.

Abu Shamla was detained on January 27 and was taken to the al-Jalama detention center for 51 days for interrogation before being sentenced to administrative detention, according to PPS.

Meanwhile, Rabayaa was detained on March 31 and was sentenced to five months in Israeli prison. However, after finishing his sentence, Israeli authorities placed him under administrative detention for 45 days and then renewed the detention again for six months.

Israel’s policy of administrative detention has been widely condemned by rights groups, as it allows the sentencing of Palestinians for three to six-month renewable internment based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is prohibited from viewing.

Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.

Rights groups have also claimed that Israel's administrative detention policy has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.

Meanwhile, Israel Prison Service (IPS) authorities have regularly used raids, confiscation of personal belongings, and forcible prison transfers to pressure Palestinian prisoners to end their hunger strikes, most notably this summer when a large-scale solidarity movement formed in support of a number of high-profile, hunger-striking prisoners denouncing being held in administrative detention.

IPS officials also routinely place Palestinian hunger strikers into solitary confinement in an effort to exert pressure on the detainees to end their strikes.

Shamla and Rabayaa launched their hunger strikes soon after Muhammad and Mahmoud Balboul and Malik al-Qadi ended their strikes after Israeli authorities vowed not to renew their administrative detentions. Al-Qadi has since returned to his home in Bethlehem, while Muhammad and Mahmoud are expected to be released on Dec. 8.

Muhammad Balboul, 26, had refused food for 77 days since July 7, while his 23-year-old brother Mahmoud had been on hunger strike 79 days since July 5, and 25-year-old Malik al-Qadi declared his hunger strike on July 16, spending 68 days without food.
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