Al Mezan Center for Human Rights is deeply concerned by the excessive use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities of Palestinian detainees, in violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) which limits the use of this type of detention. The detainees are held without a fair trial and endure lengthy stays in solitary confinement. These practices have prompted four detainees to start open-ended hunger strikes.
According to available information, detainee Khadr Adnan, 40, from Arraba in the northern West Bank district of Jenin, has been detained since 11 December 2017 and on hunger strike for 21 days in protest of his ongoing administrative detention. He carried out hunger strikes in 2012 and 2015 as well. His health condition has been deteriorating.
Jawad Jawarish, 36, from Bethlehem, has been on hunger strike for nine days in protest of his transfer from Ashkelon prison into solitary confinement in Hadarim prison. He has been transferred several times over the course of the year.
Ismail ‘Eliyan, 27, also from Bethlehem, who was arrested on 1 November 2017, has twice been sentenced to administrative detention terms of six months. He announced his start of a hunger strike five days ago.
Omran Al Khatib, 60, from Jabaliya refugee camp in the North Gaza district has been on hunger strike for five days in protest of being placed in solitary confinement in Al Ramleh prison. He has been in detention since 1997 with a 45-year prison sentence. He has served 21 years of his sentence.
Al Mezan voices concern for the safety of hunger strikers and calls for persons held in detention by Israel to be treated in accordance with international law. Al Mezan expresses deep concern at the increase in administrative detention orders. Around 100 orders were issued against detainees in August 2018 alone; 41 of the orders are new while the rest are the renewal of existing orders.
Palestinian detainees in Israel experience lengthy solitary confinement, a practice which violates IHL legal guarantees, in particular the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, and international human rights law standards, including the Standards Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (1955) and other regulations relevant to the treatment of persons deprived of their liberty.
Al Mezan raises the concern of the possible enforcement of Israel’s force-feeding law, which allows for the forced treatment and/or feeding of prisoners on hunger strike. The procedure could pose a serious threat to life and constitutes a form of ill-treatment.
Al Mezan condemns the violations of international law perpetrated against prisoners and detainees and calls on the international community to intervene and ensure their protection and dignity. The international community must ensure that Israel complies with the rules of international law in its treatment of Palestinians in its custody.