Ramallah, occupied West Bank- Palestinian prisoners held without trial or charge have launched a boycott of Israel’s military courts in the occupied West Bank, as prisoner groups warn that one detainee on hunger strike faces “imminent danger of death”.
In an escalatory step agreed by Palestinian political parties, the 500 so-called administrative detainees began new year by refusing to show up for their court sessions. The boycott includes the initial hearings to uphold the administrative detention order, as well as appeal hearings and later sessions at the Supreme Court.
Under the banner, “Our decision is freedom … no to administrative detention,” administrative detainees said in a statement their move comes as a continuation of longstanding Palestinian efforts “to put an end to the unjust administrative detention practiced against our people by the occupation forces”.
They also noted that Israel’s use of the policy has expanded in recent years to include women, children and elderly people.
“Israeli military courts are an important aspect for the occupation in its system of oppression,” the detainees said, describing the courts as a “barbaric, racist tool that has consumed hundreds of years from the lives of our people under the banner of administrative detention, through nominal and fictitious courts – the results of which are predetermined by the military commander of the region”.
141 days on hunger strike
The boycott comes as the health of Hisham Abu Hawwash – on his 141th day on hunger strike on Tuesday in protest against his administrative detention since October 2020 – continues to severely deteriorate.