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140 Palestinian administrative detainees held in Israeli Ofer detention center

June 27, 2018 3:06 P.M. (Updated: July 5, 2018 3:34 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian administrative detainees held in Israeli prisons continue their protest boycott of administrative detention courts since February 2018, according to the Prisoners and Former Prisoners' Affairs Committee.

Palestinian prisoners sparked protests across all Israeli prisons to boycott administrative detention courts after Palestinian prisoners rights group Addameer reported that Israeli forces detained over 1,000 Palestinians, including 274 children, during the months of January and February 2018.

The number of administrative detainees amounted to about 430 detainees, 140 of whom are in the Israeli Ofer detention center. Most of them have been previously held in administrative detention several times, while others are spending a total of up to 10 years in administrative detention.

Prisoner Bassam Abu Aker, member of prisoners' committee leading the protests and currently held at Ofer, told the committee’s lawyer, Luay Akkeh, that "there are no updates on scheduling a meeting between the committee representing the administrative detainees and representatives of the (Israeli) intelligence services, army and IPS (Israeli Prisons' Services) to discuss administrative detention"; he added that another date is expected to be set during the month of July.

Abu Aker also provided the lawyer with statistics on administrative detention at the Ofer detention center:

There are currently 140 administrative detainees at the Ofer detention center, the administrative detention orders for 67% of whom were renewed while 25% face a second renewal, 22% face a third renewal and another 22% face a renewal for the fourth time or more.

According to Addameer, there are 431 Palestinians held under administrative detention inside Israeli prisons out of a total of 6,036 prisoners.

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.

Rights groups have charged Israel with 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 public figures for extended periods of time without evidence of any wrongdoing.
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