RAMALLAH, May 5 (JMCC) - Israel's public security minister reportedly called for reducing the numbers of Palestinians held in administrative detention, most recently in a Tuesday meeting, reports Haaretz
Security head Yitzhak Aharonovich was said to have advised that the practice of holding detainees for weeks at a time without charge should only be used according to need.
In recent weeks, Aharonovitch held two sessions discussing the hunger strikes, with the Tuesday one being the latest, participated by representatives from the Defense Ministry and the Justice Ministry, as well as IDF, Shin Bet and Israel Prison Service (IPS) officials.
An Israeli official with knowledge of the details, and who asked to remain anonymous as a result of the subject's sensitivity, indicated that in both meetings on the issue, Aharonovitch stressed that the use of administrative detention needed to be reduced to a minimum.
Moreover, Tuesday's session reportedly included a presentation which recommended to exhaust investigation and evidence collections that would allow to open a criminal procedure prior to appeal to the Civil Administration.
During the discussion, Aharonovitch reportedly supported that approach, saying that while the detentions were a very important tool to aid security, Israeli had to use it only if there's a need and not in all cases.
The statement comes as thousands of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails are on hunger strike to protest their conditions. Two prisoners being held on administrative detention struck deals this year to obtain their release after separate prolonged periods in which they refused to eat.