December 31, Tuesday, marked 100 days since Palestinian administrative detainee Ahmad Zahran went on a hunger strike demanding his release. Zahran (42), who is being held without charge of trial, was recently rushed to the prison’s medical clinic after a rapid and serious deterioration in his health condition.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Commission (PPC), Zahran has lost more than 30 kg. He has also been rendered incapable of walking and since the 45th day of his hunger strike, has had to use a wheelchair. PPC spokesperson Hasan Abed Raboo recently said that due to Zahran’s serious health condition, an Israeli military court postponed a hearing on his appeal against the renewal of his detention order for four more months.
Zahran is being held in the Ramleh prison, and has spent a total of 15 years in various jails for acts of resistance against the Israeli occupation. He hails from the Deir Mash’al village in Ramallah and is a father of four. He was arrested in February 2019 and placed under administrative detention. Zahran’s brother, Saleh, has also spent 17 years of a 20-year-prison sentence in the Hadrim prison.
He had previously launched a hunger strike for 39 days in June against his administrative detention, ending it only after Israeli prison authorities assured him that it would not be renewed once the current period was completed in October. However, the authorities broke their commitment and renewed his administrative detention, leading to Zahran relaunching his hunger strike.
Israel uses administrative detention to keep Palestinians behind bars for extended periods without charges or a trial. Often, Israeli authorities claim that the charges are ‘classified’ under military law. Currently, more than 500 Palestinians are being held in administrative detention. Administrative detention is also deemed a violation of the fourth Geneva convention, which prohibits an occupying power from taking hostages from the occupied people, inflicting cruel and unusual treatment such as torture, passing of extrajudicial or non-judicial sentences and executions.