Israel Under Fire to Curb Illegal Arrests

Israel Under Fire to Curb Illegal ArrestsIsrael Under Fire to Curb Illegal Arrests

A Palestinian prisoner’s hunger strike has sparked new calls for Israel to curb its use of detention without trial, with activists charging routine abuse of a measure aimed at preventing attacks.

Mohammed Allan, 31, ended his hunger strike on Thursday after Israel’s top court suspended his administrative detention. He had twice been in a coma, AFP reported.

The lawyer said a member of the Islamic Jihad group had been held since November and has reportedly vowed to resume fasting if the courts reinstate administrative detention against him.

It has been strongly criticized by rights activists, who have called on Israeli authorities to prosecute or release such detainees.

Rights groups say international law allows for such detention under extreme circumstances, but that Israel uses it as a punitive measure that circumvents the justice system or as a crutch to avoid trial.

“Our research into the way Israel uses administrative detention vis-a-vis Palestinians concludes that Israel violates this very narrow allowance and uses it in a very wide, extensive way,” said Sarit Michaeli, spokeswoman for Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

According to B’Tselem, some 370 Palestinians are currently held in administrative detention compared to three alleged Jewish extremists.