This year is the 41st anniversary of Palestinian Prisoners' Day declared by the Palestinian National Council in 1974. According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Committee, there are more than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners who are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, dozens of whom are serving multiple life sentences. About 540 Palestinians are being held without trial under the so-called administrative detention.
In March alone, over 120 Palestinians were sentenced to administrative detention. Administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.
In recent months, Israeli forces have frequently raided the houses of Palestinians in the West Bank, arresting dozens of people, who are then transferred to Israeli prisons, where they are kept without any charges brought against them. It has been reported that an uprising may incur due to the poor living conditions and continuous Israeli medical negligence. Sources from inside Israeli jails confirm the prisoners may go for an open-ended hunger strike in the next few weeks.
There have been many reports about the deteriorating health of Palestinian prisoners held inside Israeli jails. Children are not immune to being made prisoners by Israel either. According to Military Court Watch, a Palestinian voluntary association focused on the treatment of Palestinian children in Israeli detention, 182 Palestinian children were being held as security prisoners in Israeli jails at the end of February.
The group said the minors were among a total of 5,609 Palestinians from East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip, who were being held in connection with the conflict between Palestine and the Tel Aviv regime at the end of February. More than half of the 182 children were in prisons located outside of the occupied Palestinian territories, the report said. It said that 25 of those children were between 14 and 15 years old while 157 of them were aged 16-17.