(Middle East Monitor) – The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) warned today that Palestinian prisoners currently held by Israel were “on the verge of exploding” as a result of maltreatment at the hands of the Israeli prison authorities.
“There are prisoners facing imminent death; some even have cancer,” Issa Qaraqe, head of the PLO’s committee on detainees, told the Anadolu Agency while taking part in a protest held outside the Red Cross office in the West Bank town of Al-Bireh.
“There is also an increase in the number of cases of administrative detention [of Palestinian prisoners],” he said.
“And the situation is becoming worse. Within the last year, Israel has placed over 30 prisoners in solitary confinement,” he added.
“All this could lead to an explosion inside Israel’s prisons,” he added.
Israel’s policy of administrative detention allows the self-proclaimed Jewish state to hold Palestinian prisoners indefinitely without lodging formal charges placing them on trial.
Administrative detention orders can range from one to six months and can be extended by Israeli military courts for periods of up to five years.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, an NGO, around 6,500 Palestinians – including 200 in administrative detention – continue to languish in jails throughout Israel.