Israel Refuses to Release Palestinian Administrative Detainee after 71 Days of Hunger Strike

Palestinian prisoner Maher Akhras. (Photo: via Twitter)

After 71 days of hunger strike and a serious deterioration in his health, Palestinian administrative detainee Maher Akhras, 49, remains behind bars after the Israel Prison Service (IPS) has refused to set him free, today said the Palestinian Prisoners and Ex-Prisoners Commission.

Commission spokesman Hasan Abed Rabbo told WAFA that Akhras, a father of six children from the northern West Bank city of Jenin, is going through a very difficult time.

Akhras lost 20 kilograms of his weight and is developing other impediments along with occasional loss of consciousness as a result of 71 days of fast demanding an end to his administrative detention without charge or trial and his release.

Abed Rabbo said that the IPS refused to release Akhras despite an Israeli High Court ruling, which only agreed to freeze the administrative detention order against Akhras but not cancel it or secure his release, which was rejected by the detainee.

Akhras was detained several times for his resistance to the occupation, the first time was in 1989 and then again in 2004, and in 2009 when he was kept in administrative detention for 16 months.

He was detained again in 2018, placed in prison for 11 months before he was released, and then re-detained in July when he started his open-ended hunger strike against his continuous administrative detention.

“Administrative detention is Israel’s go-to legal proceeding when it simply wants to mute the voices of Palestinian political activists, but lacks any concrete evidence that can be presented in an open, military court,” wrote Palestinian journalist and editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Ramzy Baroud.

“Not that Israel’s military courts are an example of fairness and transparency. Indeed, when it comes to Palestinians, the entire Israeli judicial system is skewed. But administrative detention is a whole new level of injustice,” Baroud added.

(Palestine Chronicle, WAFA, Social Media)

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