TAU students: End 'administrative detention'

Israel: Report of 34 Palestinian hunger strikers is untrue.

April 2, 2012 16:00
2 minute read.
TAU protest against administrative detention 370

TAU protest against administrative detention 370. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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In a show of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners in administrative detention, several dozen students from Tel Aviv University held a demonstration on Monday afternoon.

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.

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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 isn’t theirs.”

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 inaccurate.

“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 administrative detention.

Shalabi agreed to end her strike on March 29 after 43 days, in accordance with a deal that bans her from leaving Gaza for three years.

Earlier this month, former military advocate general Maj.-Gen.

(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 Hamas-linked charity.”

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