RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- After going 23 days without food, Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Ali Saada ended his hunger strike in Israeli prison when an Israeli military court extended his detention by seven more days, after which Saada will either be released or indicted, according to a statement from the Palestinian Prisoner's Society (PPS).
The 41-year-old, a resident of Huwwara in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus, launched his hunger strike inside Jalama detention center in protest of being held without trial or charge under Israel's widely condemned policy of administrative detention.
Saadah was detained on Feb. 16, 2017, and was undergoing "daily interrogations" while being held in Jalama, PPS lawyer Saleh Ayoub told Ma'an two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Palestinian university student Kifah Quzmar continued a hunger strike
that he launched on March 26 in protest of his administrative detention.
While Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed that the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.
Rights groups say that Israel's administrative detention policy has also been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.
Abolishing the policy is one of the chief demands of a mass hunger strike set to begin in Israeli prisons on April 17. Initially organized by Palestinian prisoners affiliated to the Fatah movement, Palestinians held in the Gilboa and Hadarim prisons, regardless of their political affiliation, have also pledged to join the strike
According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,500 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of January, 536 of whom were held in administrative detention.