EghtesadOnline: The UN urged Israel to decide the fate of prisoners held under the so-called administrative detention without trial or charge amid a fresh wave of hunger strikes by Palestinians in protest against their arbitrary incarceration.
UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Aid and Development Activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory Robert Piper made the request in a statement released on Saturday, reports ISNA.
Piper said he was “deeply concerned about the deteriorating health” of Bilal Kayed, who has been refusing food for 67 days to express dissatisfaction with his administrative detention.
The 35-year-old inmate, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was arrested in 2002 and spent 14 and a half years in Israeli jails.
On June 13, the day Kayed was scheduled to be freed, the Tel Aviv regime decided to extend his imprisonment term for another six months under the controversial administrative detention policy, which allows detainees to be held without trial for renewable six-month periods.
Consequently, the Palestinian man went on a hunger strike to denounce his arbitrary detention.
“This is an egregious case, in which Mr. Kayed was placed on administrative detention on the day of his scheduled release after completing a 14.5 year prison sentence,” Piper said.
He further said some 100 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons have launched hunger strikes in solidarity with Kayed.
“The number of administrative detainees is at an eight-year high. I reiterate the United Nations long-standing position that all administrative detainees -- Palestinian or Israeli -- should be charged or released without delay,” the UN official added.
In another development on Saturday, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said hunger striking Palestinian prisoner Jalal al-Faqeeh was taken to a hospital in Afula in the occupied territories after a heart attack.
Faqeeh, from the West Bank village of Burin was in a “bad condition,” according to a statement published by the committee.
Faqeeh, along with 32 other Palestinian prisoners held at Israel's Gilboa prison, has been refusing food in support of Kayed.
More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, many of them arbitrarily, presstv reported.
The occupied Palestinian lands have been the scene of heightened tensions since August 2015, when Tel Aviv imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in an alleged bid to change the status quo of the Muslim site.
Over 230 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada (uprising) since the beginning of last October.