Palestinian human rights sources have revealed that Bilal Diab, Thaer Hlahalah and Jaafar Izz al-Din, who have been on hunger strike in an Israeli prison for more than two months, have refused an offer to deport them to Gaza or beyond the occupied Palestinian territories. The men have insisted on continuing their struggle until their demands are met by the Israeli authorities.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs commented, "The prisoners are demanding that the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the UN Security Council protect the laws and regulations that they endorsed and ensure the prisoners' right to return to their homes and their families alive and free."
According to ministry lawyer Fadi Abedat, "The conduct committee in the Israeli prisons' administration threatened Mr. Hlahalah by force-feeding him liquids." Abedat noted that the prisoner hasn't received any salt for two weeks. Hlahalah also told the lawyer that he fainted recently but wasn't transferred to the prison hospital.
Hlahalah's family confirmed that his hunger strike will now enter a new stage. His protest has lasted 71 days and he will now be refusing water and medicine after the Israeli Supreme Court rejected his appeal against the administrative detention ruling. His health has now deteriorated so badly that he was transferred to the hospital on Monday evening.
Aziz Hlahalah, the detainee's father, explained that the Supreme Court's decision last week basically condemned his son and fellow prisoner Bilal Diab to death. He confirmed that his son "has abstained from taking any water or medicine as of today in protest against the court's decision."
Human rights sources have denied rumours that Hlahalah is now clinically dead. His family are waiting for news from Red Cross officials about his actual state of health.