Palestinian prisoner ordered to administrative detention instead of release after 9-month sentence

One Palestinian prisoner, Fathi Hammad of al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah, was due to be released at the end of his 9-month sentence in Israeli prison on Saturday, 28 October, but was instead ordered to 6 months in administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial.

Rather than being released to his friends and family, Hammad was subject to arbitrary detention on the basis of so-called “secret evidence” by military order. Palestinian prisoner organizations urged active protest against Hammad’s detention, noting that there is a constant danger of the Israeli occupation detaining prisoners indefinitely by ordering them to administrative detention after the end of their sentence.

The issue was highlighted internationally in 2016, when Bilal Kayed carried out a 71-day hunger strike to win his freedom after being ordered to six months in administrative detention rather than being released after 14 and one-half years in Israeli occupation prisons.

Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six months at a time but are indefinitely renewable, and Palestinians have spent years at a time jailed in administrative detention. There are currently over 450 Palestinians held in administrative detention out of a total of over 6,200 Palestinian political prisoners.  Four Palestinian prisoners are currently on hunger strike; three are administrative detainees demanding their release.