Ben-Gvir ends early release option for Palestinian ‘administrative detainees’ – Middle East Monitor


Israel’s far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir changed the law on Sunday to end the possibility of early release from overcrowded prisons for Palestinians held under so-called “administrative detention”, local media reported.

According to Channel 7, Ben-Gvir’s decision is aimed at changing the conditions of over 4,500 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons. 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 policy.

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that each detainee must have “living space of at least 4.5 square metres (48 square feet), including a shower and toilet, or four square metres without them.”

The Israeli-based Arab minority rights protection law centre, Adalah, said Ben-Gvir’s move is “unfair” and would worsen overcrowding in prison.

Administrative detention means that Israel can detain anyone using “secret evidence” for six months without charge or trial, which can be extended indefinitely.

Palestinians jailed by Israel under this system — which is only applied to Palestinians, not to Israeli Jews — have used hunger strikes to demand better living conditions and an end to indefinite detention. Various rights groups put the number of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel at more than 4,500.

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