Israel quells rioting at Ofer detention camp

03 January 2003
The Israeli army moved into the Ofer detention camp near Ramallah on 3 January, as rioting erupted among Palestinian detainees. An army statement said that around 40 people were being treated for the effects of tear gas. The fighting started over allegations of Israeli mistreatment of prisoners at the camp, and follows army raids on two Gaza refugee camps seeking Palestinian militants on 1 January (MEED 2:1:03). Many of the 700 held at Ofer are being held in connection with the intifada.

A statement from Israeli human rights group B'Tselem on 1 January said that for the first time since the beginning of the latest uprising in 2000, more than 1,000 Palestinians are being held in administrative detention, meaning that they are held without charge or trial and at the order of a army general rather than a judicial decree. B'Tselem urged the Israeli government to cease the use of this measure, which violates international law, and to release the detainees.

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