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Palestinian prisoners keep boycotting Israeli military courts on 142nd day

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows Palestinian women behind bars at a detention center in the Israeli occupied territories. (Photo via Twitter)

Palestinian prisoners keep boycotting the Israeli regime’s military courts on the 142nd consecutive day of their protest action against the so-called policy of administrative detention.

Nearly 500 inmates have been 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 targets hearings for the renewal of administrative detention orders as well as appeal hearings and later sessions at Israel’s so-called ‘supreme court.’ The move is the protraction of longstanding efforts to end the unjust detention practiced against the Palestinians.

The detainees say the courts are a “barbaric, racist tool that has consumed hundreds of years from the lives of our people under the banner of administrative detention, through nominal and fictitious courts – the results of which are predetermined by the military commander of the region.”

They also say Israel’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 the administrative detention, in which Israel keeps the detainees without charge for up to six months, a period which can be extended an infinite number of times.

The detention takes place on orders from a military commander and on the basis of what the regime terms ‘secret’ evidence. Some prisoners have been held under such conditions for up to 11 years.

The detainees are being held in various Israeli prisons, mostly in the notorious prisons of Negev and Ofer. The prisoners include women and minors.

Palestinian prisoners are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted which is in sheer violation of human rights. Rights groups describe Israel’s use of the detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to end its use.

The prisoners have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detention. More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some two dozen Israeli jails, with dozens of them serving multiple life sentences.

The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) keeps Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards in Israeli jails. They have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression all through the years of Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.


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