Israel and administrative detention

 

Sir, –While western media attention focuses on Binyamin Netanyahu’s political travails, and public health policy within the Israeli state, a Palestinian political prisoner has reached his 83rd day on hunger strike and is facing imminent death.

Maher al-Akhras, a father of six children, is protesting his internment under administrative detention, a system that allows the Israeli military to imprison detainees indefinitely, on unspecified charges and undisclosed evidence.

Amnesty International reports that the Israeli military use administrative detention to “suppress the legitimate and peaceful activities of activists in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, and observe that the practice of imposing an indefinite number of successive terms of imprisonment “places detainees and their families in a continuous state of uncertainty”. Currently, Israel holds around 355 Palestinians, including two minors, in administrative detention.

If the Israeli military authorities have compelling evidence against Maher al-Akhras, why do they not charge him? If they do not, then they should release him immediately.

A man’s life is on the line. What needs to happen before western media outlets shine a light on this barbaric practice? – Yours, etc,

BRIAN Ó ÉIGEARTAIGH

Donnybrook,

Dublin 4.