Palestinian prisoners end hunger strike after release date set

Palestinian prisoners end hunger strike after release date set
Three Palestinians prisoners on Wednesday suspended more than two months of hunger strike after Israeli prison authorities agreed not to extend their detention without trial.
2 min read
22 September, 2016
There are currently 7,500 Palestinians in Israeli jails [Anadolu]

Three Palestinians imprisoned by Israel without trial ended their two-month-long hunger strike on Wednesday after Israeli authorities agreed to set the dates for their release, a Palestinian NGO said.

Malik al-Qadi and brothers Mohamed and Mahmoud Balboul "suspended their hunger strikes following an agreement which sets an end to their detention and dates for their release," the Ramallah-based Palestinian Prisoners Club said.

The Palestinian Authority said that Qadi would be freed on Thursday and the Balbul brothers on 8 December.

The Balboul brothers were arrested in June and had been refusing to eat for 78 days, while Qadi was detained in June and had been on hunger strike for 70 days.

They began their hunger strike in protest against their imprisonment under Israel's controversial administrative detention law, which allows suspects to be held for renewable six-month periods without charge or trial.

According to the latest statistics by the Palestinian ministry of detainees and ex-detainees affairs, nearly 750 more Palestinians are being held without trial in Israeli prisons than last year, a 50 percent hike on 2015.

The latest numbers bring the total of administrative detention orders issued by Israel since 2000 to 26,000.

The 750 detainees are among more than 7,500 Palestinians currently in Israeli jails.

Israel claims the controversial practice allows authorities to hold suspects while continuing to gather evidence, while Palestinians, rights groups and members of the international community have condemned the system.

The UN has repeatedly expressed concern about the Israeli practices of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial, describing it a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which defines humanitarian protection for civilians.

"This is the highest number of administrative detainees at a given time since early 2008," a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said last month.

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