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More Palestinians held in jail without trial, report says

INCREASED numbers of Palestinian prisoners are being held in detention without trial as “political hostages,” the Centre for Palestine Studies said today.

A new report showed that two-thirds of the 490 Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention inside Israeli jails see their sentences renewed at least once during their term.

Under the Israeli policy, prisoners can be held without trial and many of those detained, along with their solicitors, do not know the charges or the evidence against them.

The centre warned that Palestinians are incarcerated based on secret information kept by Israeli intelligence, branding them “political hostages.”

According to the report, Israel holds “fake hearings” with the administrative detentions often renewed.

The centre said that 71 prisoners had administrative detention renewed for the second consecutive term, 172 renewed for the third successive term, 66 renewed for the fourth term and 25 for the fifth term.

It said that 155 prisoners held in administrative detention are in their first term. 

Palestinians held in Israeli prisons recently went on hunger strike over deteriorating conditions, including the removal of phones and the installation of mobile phone reception blocking equipment.

It left them unable to communicate with their families and prisoners complained of health issues related to the installation, including headaches and depression.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) refuses to accept the monthly transfer of tax revenues from Israel after Tel Aviv deducted the money earmarked for Palestinian prisoners and families of those killed in resistance activities.

Tel Aviv withholds $138 million (£109m) of tax revenues to the PA per year, equal to the amount allocated to prisoners and families of Palestinians killed in confrontations with Israel. 

The 1994 Paris Economic Agreement means Tel Aviv collects Palestinian tax revenues on goods entering the occupied territories through the crossings and ports controlled by Israel. 

These tax revenues are returned to the PA on a monthly basis.

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