Pre-dawn raids in Palestine

Christmas under the Israeli occupation in Bethlehem
Christmas under the Israeli occupation in Bethlehem

ISRAELI authorities issued administrative detention orders, without charge or trial, against 22 Palestinians on Wednesday, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) reported.

PPS said that 16 detainees received administrative detention orders for the first time, whereas the remaining six received renewed administrative orders. Administrative detention is a procedure that allows the Israeli military to hold prisoners indefinitely on secret information without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.

Israel routinely uses administrative detention against Palestinians. Statistics show that over the years, thousands of Palestinians have been held in Israeli custody as administrative detainees for extended periods of time.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest against their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy which violates international law. In April 2015, the United Nations Human Rights Office (OHCHR) expressed concern by the continued and increasing use of administrative detention by Israeli authorities against Palestinians.

Most of those detained across the occupied West Bank were seized during predawn detention raids as Israeli prisons face overcrowding. Palestinian security sources said that Israeli forces raided the town of Beit Fajjar in southern Bethlehem and detained Shaker Muhammad Taqatqa, 21, Muhammad Shaher Deiriyeh, 23, and Muhammad Faisal Thawabteh, 28.

Israeli forces also detained Ayyad Jamil al-Hreimi, 23, Shadi Muhammad al-Hreimi, 24, and his brother, Tareq, 20, from their homes in the city of Bethlehem. Also in the Bethlehem area, Israeli forces detained Muhannad Asakreh after raiding and searching his home in Janata, as well as Daniel Rashid Abu Sur, 16, from the Aida refugee camp.

Fifteen of those detained in the occupied West Bank were accused of taking part in demonstrations against Israeli military forces and two ‘Hamas operatives’ were detained from Hebron, according to the Israeli army. Thousands of Palestinians have been detained since the beginning of October.

Prisoners’ rights groups in the occupied area have reported significant overcrowding in Israeli prisons since the increase in detentions, as well as higher rates of transfer of prisoners between jails. A legal assistant at prisoners’ rights group Addameer has reported that a significant number of Palestinian prisoners detained in the recent campaign have experienced torture and mistreatment during their detention.

The group this week called for the United Nations to take action against G4S, a UK-based private security company that assists Israel’s prison service.