WEST BANK (Dispatches) – Palestinian inmates imprisoned under the Zionist regime’s so-called policy of administrative detention continue their boycott of the occupying regime’s military courts for the 23rd consecutive day.
At least 500 Palestinian prisoners have been registering their protest against the controversial policy by refusing to show up for their military court hearings since the beginning of the year, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported on Sunday.
The boycott includes hearings for renewal of administrative detention orders as well as appeal hearings and later sessions at the regime’s so-called supreme court.
Palestinian detainees say their move is a continuation of longstanding Palestinian efforts “to put an end to the unjust administrative detention practiced against our people by the occupation forces.”
Palestinian prisoners also maintain that the regime’s use of administrative detention has expanded in recent years and many women, children and elderly people have been incarcerated under the thorny policy.
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are held under administrative detention, in which the occupying regime keeps the detainees without charge for up to six months, a period which can be extended an infinite number of times. Women and minors are among those detainees. The detention takes place on orders from a military commander and on the basis of what the regime describes as ‘secret’ evidence. Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.
In a separate development, a Palestinian commission for prisoners said Nasser Abu Hamid, a cancer patient held in the regime’s jail, is in a coma for the third week due to acute pneumonia.
In a statement on Sunday, the Palestinian Commission of Detainees’ and Ex-Detainees’ Affairs called on human rights and international organizations to urgently intervene and pressure the Israeli authorities to release the 49-year old Palestinian prisoner, Wafa news agency reported. The commission further warned that Abu Hamid is facing an imminent risk of death as a result of his suffering from the consequences of a surgery he underwent last year.
‘Organized Terrorism Against Palestinian Media’
An NGO promoting media freedom says more than a dozen Palestinian journalists are being held in harsh conditions in the occupying jails in contradiction to international law, denouncing the regime for practicing “organized terrorism” to silence Palestinian media.
The Journalists’ Support Committee (JSC) said in a statement on Saturday that seven of the 17 Palestinian journalists have already been sentenced, while five others are being incarcerated under the so-called “administrative” detention.
The journalists’ rights group added that five members of the press in the occupied territories are awaiting their verdicts as well.
The JSC warned against “the delay in issuing verdicts against the prisoners who have been detained for several years without charge,” describing the policy as “a blatant violation of international law and human rights.”
“The occupying Israeli regime practices organized terrorism against Palestinian media in an attempt to silence Palestinian journalists and undermine the steadfastness of Palestinian people,” it said.
There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held at the occupying regime’s jails.