The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is concerned over the life of Belal Kayed, an administrative detainee in Israeli jails on a hunger strike for about two months and holds the Israeli authorities accountable for his life. Furthermore, PCHR calls upon the international community to pressurize the Israeli forces to release Belal, who has been placed under administrative detention though he finished his imprisonment sentence (14 and a half years) in the Israeli jails.
Belal Kayed (35), from northern Asirah village in Nablus, has been on a hunger strike for 53 consecutive days since 15 June 2016 in protest against the administrative detention under which he has been placed without charges or trial. Besides, although Bilal has served his 14 and a half years of imprisonment, after which the Israeli authorities should have released him on 13 June 2016, the Israeli authorities issued an administrative detention order against Belal on the same day and directly placed him in solitary confinement. As a result, Belal started a hunger strike.
Bilal is currently receiving medical treatment in Barzilai Hospital in Israel, to which he was admitted on 17 July 2016 due to the deterioration of his health condition. According to human rights organizations, Belal’s hands and legs were tied to the bed all the time, but the Israeli soldiers release him only when he wants to go to the bathroom. Moreover, the Israeli forces placed Belal under strict observation by guards, a camera and bugging device. Although his health is seriously deteriorating, Belal is still refusing the medical examinations, vitamins and food supplements. He rather drinks takes water, salt and sugar. Belal suffers from severe pain in his head, stomach, heart, chest and kidneys and does not take any medicine and pain relievers.
On the other hand, over a hundred prisoners declared lately new steps and hunger strikes to support Belal Kayed; 65 of them remained on hunger strike, including Ahmed Sa’dat, Secretary-General of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) serving 30-year imprisonment sentence. These prisoners on hunger strikes are subjected to arbitrary measures by the Prison Service, including solitary confinement, denial of family visits and raids on cells.
About 750 Palestinians, including 3 PLC members, are placed under administrative detention in the Israeli jails. The administrative detention allows that Palestinians are detained for unlimited period without any charges against them. This measure is based on confidential information and upon an order from the Israeli Military Commander according to Military Order (1651). The Israeli government has been applying this measure since the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967 as a collective punishment that is prohibited internationally according to the Fourth Geneva Convention 1949. The government used administrative detention in a clear violation of the law to place thousands of prisoners under the longest period possible of detention without charges or evidences against them.
PCHR is concerned over the life of Belal Kayed and other hunger strikers in the Israeli jails, and:
- Holds the Israeli authorities fully accountable for the life of Kayed and other hunger strikers in the Israeli jails;
- Calls upon the international community to immediately intervene to put an end to the administrative detention policy and applying it arbitrarily and illegally against Palestinian prisoners; and
- Calls for conjugating local and international efforts to support the Palestinian prisoners and their demands to live freely and in dignity.