Prisoners' families shut down UNRWA office
Published Wednesday 21/05/2014 (updated) 22/05/2014 16:27
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Prisoners' families shut down an UNRWA office in Nablus on Wednesday to protest the UN's "silence" amid a Palestinian hunger strike in Israeli jails, an official said.
Imad Ishtewy, spokesman of Nablus' higher committee for prisoners, said shutting down the UNRW office sent a clear message to the UN that it should intervene in the hunger strike immediately.
Ishtewy highlighted that activists for the prisoners would escalate their plans in the coming days.
Some 120 Palestinian prisoners are on hunger strike in protest of their detention without charge or trial in Israeli jails. Most of them started their hunger strike over three weeks ago. They are demanding Israel change its policy of administrative detention.
Fifteen administrative detainees have been hospitalized since the strike began on April 24, a Palestinian official has said.
According to the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem, "unlike a criminal proceeding, administrative detention is not intended to punish a person for an offense already committed, but to thwart a future danger."
"The entire procedure is secret: administrative detainees are not told the reason for their detention or the specific allegations against them. ... Since the detainees do not know the evidence against them, they are unable to refute it," B'Tselem said in a May 11 report.
In May 2012, some 2,000 Palestinian prisoners ended a 27-day hunger strike after reaching a deal with Israel. Under the terms of the deal, around 400 prisoners from Gaza would be allowed receive family visits and administrative detainees would be either freed or charged.
According to Addameer, a prisoners rights group, Israel also agreed to limit the use of administrative detentions to exceptional cases, but reneged on the deal, renewing the detention of several prisoners and continuing to regularly implement the policy.