Israeli security minister ends early release option for Palestinian 'administrative detainees'

Israeli security minister ends early release option for Palestinian 'administrative detainees'

Change by Itamar Ben-Gvir is inhumane and will worsen conditions for Palestinian detainees in violation of the law, says rights group

By Mucahit Aydemir

JERUSALEM (AA) - Israel's far-right national security minister on Sunday made changes to the law to end the possibility of early release from overcrowded prisons for Palestinian "administrative detainees.”

Itamar Ben-Gvir’s decision aims to change the conditions of over 4,500 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, Israeli Channel 7 reported.

In the past, due to overcrowding in prisons, hundreds of Palestinian "administrative detainees" were released each year, but Ben-Gvir’s change to the law effectively ends this humane policy.

According to a 2017 Israeli Supreme Court ruling, each detainee must have “living space of at least 4.5 square meters (48 square feet), including a shower and toilet, or 4 square meters without them."

The Israeli-based Arab minority rights protection law center Adalah said Ben-Gvir's actions were “unfair” and would worsen overcrowding in jails.

The policy of administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to detain anyone for six months without charge or trial, which can be extended indefinitely. For years, Palestinians jailed by Israel have used hunger strikes to demand better living conditions and an end to indefinite detentions.

According to Palestinian figures, Israel is holding over 4,500 Palestinians in its prisons.

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