In a show of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in administrative detention,
several dozen students from Tel Aviv University held a demonstration on Monday
The group of students – comprised mostly of Israeli Arabs but
also including some Jews and university professors – called for an end to the
practice, which allows Israel to indefinitely detain security prisoners without
charge or trial.
Said Suidan of Haifa, a 24- year-old sociology student,
said the protest’s message was that administrative detentions “are illegal and
must be stopped.”
Suidan said he did not have suggestions for
alternatives to the practice, saying instead that Israel is “occupying land that
Prof. Adi Ofir, also present at the rally, said that
administrative detentions are “part of a long list of the crimes of the Israeli
occupation,” which he said must be ended.
The rather small protest was
met by one of about equal size staged by the group Im Tirtzu, whose activists
waved Israeli flags, booed and shouted at the other protestors, calling upon
them to stand up for human rights in Syria and Gaza.
Im Tirzu spokesman
Amit Barak said they came “to show support for those who believe in real human
rights, the right to live in security,” which he said is represented by “the
Zionist majority in Israel.”
The Prisons Service said a report released
last week by the nonprofit Physicians for Human Rights, which stated that there
are currently 34 Palestinians in administrative detention on hunger strikes, was
“There are a total of seven hunger strikers,” Prisons Service
spokeswoman Sivan Weitzman said. “Five are in their wards, and are refusing
Prison Services food, though they may be eating their own food. Their health
condition and weight is being monitored.”
Two hunger strikers have been
transferred to the Prison Services’s medical clinic in Ramle, where they are
being given fluids and salts intravenously.
Last week, Israel deported
Islamic Jihad member Hana Shalabi to Gaza. She had been arrested at her West
Bank home on February 16, and went on a hunger strike to protest her
Shalabi agreed to end her strike on March 29
after 43 days, in accordance with a deal that bans her from leaving Gaza for
Earlier this month, former military advocate general
(res.) Avichai Mendelblit told The Jerusalem Post,
“Administrative detention is not about the past, but about the future. This is
not about judging a person for past activities, but [preventing] the most grave
acts from occurring.”
He continued: “Terror suspects working to bring
about the deaths of civilians would be subject to this... [such as] someone
plotting a car bomb in a city.
Not rock throwers, or people working for a
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