Senior UN humanitarian official deeply concerned at Israel’s administrative detention practices

Palestinian prisoners are being held in Israeli prisons similar to this one. Photo: IRIN

2 February 2016 – A senior United Nations humanitarian official today voiced deep concern at the administrative detention of more than 525 Palestinians in Israeli jails and detention centres, including one who has been on hunger strike for over two months.

“In particular, I am alarmed by the rapidly deteriorating health of Palestinian administrative detainee, Mohammed Al-Qiq, who is on hunger strike in protest against the arbitrary nature of his detention and ill-treatment,” the UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid for the occupied Palestinian territory, Robert Piper said in a statement.

“After 69 days of hunger strike, Mr. Al-Qiq is in a dangerous state of health and his physicians have informed him of the possibility of irreversible damage. I reiterate the United Nations’ long-standing position that all administrative detainees – Palestinian or Israeli – should be charged or released without delay. All allegations of ill-treatment must also be independently and promptly investigated.”

According to data from Israel Prison Service (IPS), 527 Palestinians, including one woman and five minors were held in administrative detention in IPS facilities at the end of November 2015.

Just last month Mr. Piper called for an immediate end to Israeli plans to transfer Bedouin living in the Jerusalem area for a settlement expansion, long recognized as a violation of international law and an obstacle to realizing a two-state solution to the Middle East crisis.

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