Palestinian prisoner to go on prolonged hunger strike until fully released: lawyers

Lawyers for hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh have said he will continue his 168-day fast until he is granted full release, even after the Israeli regime was forced to temporarily freeze his detention. 40 year old man.

Awawdeh’s lawyers made the announcement after an Israeli military court on Friday urgently suspended the administrative detention of the hunger-striking Palestinian.

An Israeli court earlier in the week rejected an appeal to release Awawdeh despite his worsening condition after 168 days of abstinence from food.

Ahlam Haddad, one of Awawdeh’s lawyers, was quoted by Palestinian media as saying that his “hunger strike will not be suspended as he is asking for his release and not for his detention to be frozen”.

Stressing that his client’s health had deteriorated and that he was seeking release, Haddad said Awawdeh had not eaten since March 4, except for a 10-day period during which he had received vitamin injections.

The Palestinian Commission for Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs derided Israel’s suspension of Awawdeh’s detention and called for more pressure on the regime for his full release.

“The decision to suspend the administrative detention of prisoner Awawdeh is laughable,” the commission said, adding, “We need to ignore it in terms of the media and the public. What is needed is more pressure on the prisoner. occupation and the implementation of all means of support for this heroic [hunger] strike.”

The commission warned on Sunday that Awawdeh could lose his life as his condition had deteriorated significantly.

“Prisoner Awawdeh’s condition is getting worse day by day,” said commission spokesman Hassan Abed Rabbo. “He has lost more than half of his body weight and he feels incredibly weak. His vision is so impaired that he could not recognize his wife Dalal Awawdeh as she visited him in Assaf Harofeh Hospital. .”

Human rights organizations have also confirmed that the Palestinian prisoner “is at risk of martyrdom at any time, given the occupation’s refusal to respond to his demands to end his arbitrary administrative detention, despite the seriousness of his state of health”.

Awawdeh, a father of four, is one of many Palestinian prisoners who have gone on prolonged hunger strikes over the years to protest so-called administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold prisoners without charge virtually indefinitely. .

Thousands of Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons. Human rights organizations claim that Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Geneva Convention. They claim that administrative detention violates the right to due process since evidence is withheld from prisoners while they are held for long periods without being charged, tried or sentenced.

Palestinian detainees continually resort to indefinite hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detentions. Israeli prison authorities keep Palestinian prisoners in deplorable conditions without proper hygiene standards. Palestinian detainees have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment and repression.

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