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Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner sentenced to administrative detention

July 26, 2017 10:19 A.M. (Updated: July 26, 2017 11:29 P.M.)
(Source: Addameer)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities sentenced former long-term hunger-striking prisoner Bilal Diab to six months of administrative detention, Israel's widely condemned policy of internment without charge or trial, as he entered his 12th day on hunger strike on Tuesday.

Diab, 32, was redetained in a predawn military raid on July 14 from his home in the village of Kafr Raai in the Jenin district of the northern West Bank, and started a hunger strike the same day, according to prisoners rights group Addameer.

He has been detained and imprisoned by the Israeli forces on multiple occasions, frequently under administrative detention.

According to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun, he has been previously held under allegations of participation in the Islamic Jihad movement.

He was last released from Israeli prison on Dec. 15, 2015, according to Samidoun.

Diab had also taken on a 77-day open hunger strike in prison in 2012, alongside Thaer Halahleh, in protest of their administrative detentions. He was released on Aug. 9, 2012 after reaching an agreement with Israeli authorities to end his strike.

While Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals, is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead 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.

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

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,200 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of May, 490 of whom were held in administrative detention.

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