Amnesty hails 'courageous' protest by Palestinian detainees against Israel's 'inhumane treatment'
A protest by hundreds of Palestinian administrative detainees boycotting Israeli military courts is a "courageous" form of defiance against the "cruel and inhuman" detention practice, rights watchdog Amnesty International said on Monday.
Nearly all the 500 Palestinians held in administrative detention completed 100 days of protest on Monday against Israel's military courts' system.
The strike, which began on 1 January 2022, aimed to raise awareness of the practice by Israeli courts - under the command of military officials or the minister of defence - to detain Palestinians for months at a time without charge or trial, often based solely on secret information provided by Israeli security agencies.
"Palestinian human rights defenders, journalists, academics and others have suffered from this cruel and inhuman practice and have been protesting it for decades including through hunger strikes.
"The boycott is a renewed collective call saying enough is enough," said Saleh Higazi, Amnesty International’s deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.
"This courageous boycott highlights Israel’s inhuman treatment and punishment of Palestinians. The international community, particularly states with close relations to Israel, must now take concrete action and pressure Israel to end its systematic use of arbitrary detention as a step towards dismantling apartheid."
Around 500 out of 4,550 Palestinian prisoners are being held in Israeli administrative detention without charge or trial, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
Under the administrative detention order, Palestinians for six months at a time and these orders can be extended indefinitely.
Israel says the procedure allows authorities to hold alleged suspects in a measure to "prevent attacks" while continuing to "gather evidence".
Rights groups say such a system is abusive to all Palestinians and particularly children, who are mostly arrested on suspicion of throwing stones.