Maazouze, the mother of Mohammed Allaan, a Palestinian prisoner who is on a long-term hunger strike, holds a portrait of her son during a rally calling for his release..
(photo credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)
Five Palestinian security prisoners being held in administrative detention in Ketziot began a hunger strike this week to protest their imprisonment.
Israel Prisons Service spokeswoman Sivan Weitzman confirmed that the hunger strike began on Sunday, when the five prisoners declared they would not eat until released. Typically the IPS waits 48 hours before considering such a protest act a hunger strike, saying in the meantime that the prisoners are “returning meals”. In this case Weitzman said the five declared officially that they are striking.
Earlier this month, Islamic Jihad activist Muhammad Allan ended a hunger strike that had stretched to 66 days, after the High Court intervened, temporarily canceling his administrative detention due to his declining health.
Allan promptly vowed to go on hunger strike again if he is detained again by Israel.
Administrative detention is the practice of holding Palestinian security prisoners without charge, and without them able to see the allegations against them. The detentions have to be approved by a judge and can be potentially be renewed indefinitely.
According to IPS figures released in July, there are 379 prisoners held in administrative detention out of a total of 5,719 security prisoners.
The issue has been cited as the reason for a series of hunger strikes by Palestinian prisoners in recent years, most of whom have themselves been behind bars in administrative detention.
Last month, the state began to use administrative detentions for the first time against Jewish terrorist suspects following a deadly arson attack in the Palestinian village of Duma in July that resulted in the deaths of a father and his 18-month-old son.