Human rights group: Israel detains 800 Palestinians without trial


Israel is holding nearly 800 Palestinians without trial or charge, the highest number since 2008, an Israeli human rights group said on Sunday.

The HaMoked group, which regularly collects figures from Israeli prison authorities, says 798 Palestinians are currently being held in so-called administrative detention, a method in which prisoners can be held. for months, not knowing the charges against them and no. granted access to the evidence against them.

The group says the number of people in administrative detention has steadily increased this year, as Israel conducts nightly arrest raids in the occupied West Bank in response to a series of attacks on people. Israel earlier this year.

Israel claims it uses administrative detention to prevent attacks and contain dangerous gunmen without disclosing sensitive intelligence. Human rights groups and Palestinians say it is an abusive system that denies freedom without due process, leaving some Palestinians for months or even years behind bars with no evidence against they have access. Some use life-threatening hunger strikes to draw attention to their detention, which often heightens tensions between Israel and Palestine.

“Administrative detention should be an exceptional measure, but Israel uses this detention wholesale without trial,” said Jessica Montell, chief executive officer of HaMoked. “This has to stop. If Israel can’t bring them to trial, they have to release all those in administrative detention.”

HaMoked said the toll is a new peak in a growing wave of administrative arrests that began last spring after a series of Palestinian attacks against Israelis that left 19 people dead. Those attacks sparked Israeli air strikes that have killed around 100 Palestinians, many of whom are believed to be militias or local youths to protest attacks on cities or towns. their towns, but civilians also died in the violence.

The Israeli military said about 1,500 Palestinians were arrested during that time, including those in administrative detention. It said the airstrikes were needed to destroy militant networks and prevent attacks against the Israelis. Palestinians say the airstrikes are aimed at maintaining Israel’s 55-year military rule over territories they want a future state.

The last time Israel held multiple administrative prisoners was in May 2008, which also coincided with an increase in violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security service did not respond to a request for comment.

Israel captured the West Bank during the 1967 Mideast War and has since established about 130 settlements there, home to 500,000 settlers. The Palestinians want the territory, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip for an independent state to be their hope.


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