HEBRON, Sunday, October 24, 2021 (WAFA) – Dozens of Palestinians suffocated today by tear gas as Israeli forces quelled a protest held in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, according to WAFA correspondent.
Israeli army soldiers attacked the demonstration, which was called for by institutions concerned with prisoners’ affairs, with tear gas canisters, causing many to suffocate.
Demonstrators called for the immediate release of hunger-striking prisoners who are fighting for their lives and facing the imminent threat of death or serious harm.
Seven Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention currently remain on hunger strike in protest of their unfair administrative detention without a charge or trial, according to the Detainees Affairs Commission.
Amjad al-Najjar, the spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), stressed the need for prompt action to save the lives of prisoners on hunger strike.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military court of Ofer upheld the administrative detention of hunger-striking prisoner Shadi Abu-Akr for a period of six months, according to PPS attorney, Jawad Boulo.
Abu-Akr has been refusing food for 61 days.
PPS attorney said the Israeli court claimed that it has found no reason to end Abu Akr’s administrative detention, adding that they will appeal the decision to uphold his detention for six months.
Administrative detention is illegal under international law where people are held without charge or trial for long periods of time.
Palestinians and human rights organizations have been demanding an end to this policy.
A few days ago, UN experts expressed grave fear for the lives of five Palestinians currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons and called on Israel to either release or charge the prisoners, and to completely end its unlawful practice of administrative detention.
"In violation of international law, Israel continues to use administrative detention to imprison more than 500 Palestinians – including six children – without charges, without trials, without convictions, all based on classified secret information that the detainees have no access to," the experts said. "They have no recourse to challenging these undisclosed allegations, and they do not know when, or if, they are going to be released."
The experts said that Israel’s practice of administrative detention drives prisoners to desperate measures, even risking their lives, to bring attention to their plight.
"As we have done many times before, we once again call on Israel either to charge and try, or release, all of the administrative detainees," the experts said.
"In international law, administrative detention is permitted only in exceptional circumstances, and only for short periods of time. Israel’s practices exceed all of the international legal boundaries," they added.
The experts also called upon Israel to end its harsh detention conditions of Palestinian prisoners. "In particular, we insist that the imposition of solitary confinement on detainees already weakened by months of hunger strike, must stop immediately."