WEST BANK (Dispatches) – “I fear that my child will grow up while I’m away in prison,” Mujahed Hamed, a Palestinian detained in one of the Zionist regime’s prisons in the Negev region, wrote in a letter to his family.
Hamed is among 540 Palestinian prisoners held in the occupying regime’s prisons under its contested policy of so-called administrative detention, under which the occupying regime detains individuals - overwhelmingly Palestinians - without trial or charges for renewable periods of up to six months.
The controversial policy imposes no obligation on the occupying regime to present any official suspicions or evidence to justify an arrest or detention.
Hamed is not alone in his endeavor. Fifteen other Palestinian prisoners have recently announced that they would go on hunger strike to denounce their ‘administrative detention’, demanding that the Zionist regime prescribe a time limit and prevent any future extension of their imprisonment.
Palestinian prisoners, particularly those held under administrative detention orders, often resort to hunger strikes to demand the right to due process, instead of the current practice that keeps them in detention for an unlimited period of time over allegations both they and their lawyers are left in the dark about.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), the number of Palestinians being kept under administrative detention orders currently stands at 540.
The 15 hunger strikers alongside Hamed mark an unprecedented number of simultaneous hunger strikes by administrative detainees, with the number of prisoners staging their own protests on the rise.
The latest streak of hunger strikes began with Salem Alzayat, 40.
In another development in the occupied territories, nearly 170 Palestinians sustained injuries in an attack by Zionist troops on anti-settlement protesters near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus.
The violence broke out after the Friday prayers when the regime forces opened fire on Palestinians protesting against the construction of a settlement outpost on Jabal Sabih in the town of Beita, south of Nablus, according to Palestinian media.
Palestine’s official Wafa news agency said 29 civilians were wounded with live and rubber-coated metal bullets, and dozens more suffocated with tear gas as Zionists attacked the protest.
“168 injuries occurred during the confrontations with the occupation forces, including 5 with live bullets, 24 with rubber-coated metal bullets, while 132 others suffered from suffocation as a result of the Israeli forces firing tear gas canisters, while seven others were injured,” Ahmed Jibril, director of ambulance and emergency services at the Red Crescent in Nablus, told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
Local Palestinian sources told Ma’an that confrontations erupted in three locations with the occupation troops at the Beita Junction, Jabal Sabih, and the al-Houte area.
Elsewhere in the occupied Palestinian territories on Friday, Zionist troops violently clashed with Palestinian mourners attending the funeral of a young man shot dead by the regime’s soldiers near the city of Al-Khalil.
The Zionist troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets against the mourners, injuring a number of Palestinians.