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Hunger strikers and illegally detained people

A potentially dangerous situation looms in Israel.    Israel not only presently has hunger-strikers on its hands, but the country which, monotonously, beats its own drum about being a democracy, is detaining over 4,000 Palestinians, many without having been through any judicial process.   BBC News reports.

"Protests have been held in the West Bank in solidarity with Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails.

The Middle East Quartet (UN, US, EU and Russia) has recently issued warnings about the condition of the strikers.

The EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was "following with concern" the deteriorating health of four Palestinian hunger strikers."


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"As of December 2012, Israel held 4,517 Palestinians in its jails.

Of these 1,031 are being held until the conclusion of legal proceedings, 178 are in administrative detention (without charge or trial) and 170 are under 18 years of age.

The issue of prisoners is an emotive one for Palestinians, who view many of those incarcerated as heroes of the conflict with Israel.

On Saturday the EU called on Israel to "[fully respect] international human rights obligations towards all Palestinian detainees and prisoners".

Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair expressed concern about the "the deteriorating health condition of the four prisoners".

Earlier in the week, the UN expressed concern for the hunger strikers and called on Israel to end its practice of administrative detention.

This is a system under which a military court can order suspects to be detained indefinitely, subject to renewal every six months by the court, without trial or charge. The Israeli military says it uses administrative detention when it fears an immediate risk to security or to protect informants."

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