There are now 540 Palestinians being held in administrative detention, the highest number since 2008, a prisoner rights group said. The Ahrar Center for Prisoners Studies said dozens of detainees have been transferred to administrative detention over the past three weeks, while the detention of 70 other prisoners has been extended.
A spokesman for the group, Riyad al-Ashqar, said that Israel has used the detention policy for hundreds detained since mid-June in a large scale arrest campaign in the West Bank. In 2008 there were 800 Palestinians held under the policy.
Al-Ashqar says that Israel aims to remove as many Palestinian leaders and youths from society for as long as possible. “All the administrative detention policy requires is one word and that is ‘confidential,'” he added. In June, Israel doubled the number of administrative detentions within the first 10 days of an arrest campaign following the disappearance of three Israeli youths. The policy of administrative detention, which dates back to the British imperialist mandate period, allows Israel to hold Palestinian prisoners indefinitely without trial on the basis of secret information.