RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) - Palestinians subject to Israel’s policy of “administrative detention”, by which suspects can be held indefinitely without trial or charge, have announced plans to “boycott” Israeli military courts to protest their ongoing incarceration.
“We declare a comprehensive and categorical boycott of all administrative detention courts, which seek to beautify the ugly face of [Israel’s] occupation,” Palestinian administrative detainees said in a statement issued collectively Tuesday.
Urging the Palestinian public to support the move, detainees noted that “dozens” of Palestinians had remained in custody for over 14 years -- without trial or charge -- under the administrative detention policy.
“Administrative detention is the sword hanging over the necks of all Palestinians,” the statement read.
“This [i.e., the Israeli] judicial system faithfully serves the policies of the Israeli occupation and its intelligence services using the pretext of ‘secret evidence’,” it added.
The policy of administrative detention, which allows suspects to be held without trial or charge for renewable six-month periods, was first established by British colonialist forces during the British Mandate period (1923-1948) in Palestine.
According to Palestinian statistics, some 6,400 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, including roughly 500 in administrative detention.