Palestinians detained without trial by Israel at highest level in five years
Around 579 Palestinians are being held in administrative detention, according to data by the Israel Prison Service accessed by Haaretz. This is the highest number since 2016, when there were reportedly 610 Palestinians detained without trial.
Israel is currently holding 579 Palestinians in administrative detention. That’s 579 people who are being imprisoned without charge or trial, on secret evidence against which they cannot defend themselves.— Mike S. Omer-Man (@MikeOmerMan) April 26, 2022
Administrative detention is "incarceration without trial or charge, alleging that a person plans to commit a future offense", according to the website of B’TSelem, a Jerusalem-based human rights organisation.
"[It] is a cruel measure that the Israeli regime uses extensively and unlawfully," Dror Sadot, a spokesperson for B'TSelem told The New Arab.
"The detention orders are heard in military courts, where the judges and prosecutors are uniformed Israelis operating by the power of military orders. Some administrative detention orders are also the subject of High Court petitions, which are heard by Supreme Court Justices.
"Both judicial instances form one of the main apparatuses propping up Israeli control over Palestinians in the West Bank and function as a rubber stamp for its apartheid regime."
Israel's security services justify the detention of Palestinians without trial to preempt attacks against its citizens. Rights groups say it is a form of collective punishment against the whole Palestinian population in the occupied territories and breaks international law.
Israeli forces have displaced millions of Palestinian families from their homes since the country's creation in 1948 and continue to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip. They have repeatedly detained hundreds of Palestinians without charge for years at a time.
Its systematic oppression of Palestinians has been described as "apartheid" by the UN’s Special Rapporteur for human rights, as well as leading human rights groups.