1241 GMT December 09, 2022
The group, HaMoked, which regularly gathers figures from Israeli prison authorities, said that 798 Palestinians are currently being held in so-called administrative detention, a practice where the prisoners can be held for months, do not know the charges against them and are not granted access to the evidence against them, According to AP.
The group said the number of those held in administrative detention has risen steadily this year, as Israel conducts nightly arrest raids in the occupied West Bank in response to a spate of attacks against Israelis earlier this year.
Israel claims it uses administrative detention to impede attacks. 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 them made accessible. Some resort to life-threatening hunger strikes to draw attention to their detention, which often drives up tensions between Israel and Palestinians.
“Administrative detention should be an exceptional measure but Israel makes wholesale use of this detention without trial,” said Jessica Montell, HaMoked’s executive director. “This has to stop. If Israel cannot bring them to trial, it must release all administrative detainees.”
HaMoked said the figure was a new peak in a growing wave of administrative detentions which began last spring following a series of attacks by Palestinians against Israelis that killed 19 people. Those attacks sparked the Israeli raids that have killed some 100 Palestinians.
The Israeli military says some 1,500 Palestinians have been arrested during that time including those held in administrative detention.
On Monday, Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian men during a raid near the town of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, Al Jazeera reported.
The two men were killed while in a car just outside the Jalazone refugee camp north of Ramallah.
The Palestinian official news agency, Wafa, identified them as 18-year-old Bassel Qassem Basbous and 21-year-old Khaled Fadi Anbar.
A third, Raafat Habash, 19, was wounded in the shooting.