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Record number of Palestinians held under administrative detention: NGO

Of the 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, more than 700 are now detained under controversial administrative detention orders, says NGO
A demonstrator waves a Palestinian flag during a protest against administrative detention in 2013 (AFP)

Over the past 10 days, Israel has given "administrative detention" orders to 84 Palestinians, bringing the total number of Palestinians held under the controversial procedure to its highest level since 2009, a Palestinian NGO said on Monday.

The Palestinian Prisoners' Club said 39 Palestinians had been arrested and placed under administrative detention for periods of between two and six months, while the other 45 had their detention prolonged.

The latest orders, according to the NGO, bring the total number of Palestinians held under administrative detention - a British Mandate- era procedure which allows Israel to hold suspects without trial for renewable six-month periods - to more than 700.

News of the figures comes just days after Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq ended a 93-day hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention after Israeli and Palestinian officials struck a deal that will see him freed a month earlier than originally scheduled.

Activists said Qiq's case ended in victory and had been a "big embarrassment for Israel".

Qiq, a father of two and correspondent for Saudi Arabia's Almajd TV network, was arrested at his home in Ramallah on 21 November for what Shin Bet described as "terror activity" on behalf of Hamas.

He had refused food since 25 November in protest against the "torture and ill-treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation," according to Addameer, a Palestinian human rights organisation.