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Israel temporarily suspends detention of hunger striking brothers

The Israeli Supreme Court yesterday ordered a temporary suspension of the detention of two hunger striking Palestinians who are being held on administrative detention, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoner's Affairs said.

The suspension would remain in place until Mahmous and Muhammad Balboul complete treatment for the illnesses they are suffering from as a result of their hunger strike.

The brothers rejected the offer as they began their hunger strike in protest against their administrative detention with the intention of highlighting their plights and being freed. The decision to suspend their detention states that the Balboul brothers are to be kept in hospital until their health improves.

The committee's lawyer rejected the order, instead demanding an immediate release of the brothers and a complete end to their administrative detention.

Eyad Misk, head of the legal unit of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoner's Affairs, noted that the court order will allow Israeli authorities to resentence the brothers once their health conditions improve, and did not put an end to their administrative detention, adding that the Supreme Court was in part responsible for the deteriorating health of the hunger strikers.

The brother began their hunger strike in early July, they had been arrested in June. Their health has deteriorated as a result and they have been rushed to hospital.

On Monday, Tariq Barghouth, a lawyer for the committee, said in a statement that Muhammad was suffering from temporary blindness, adding that his condition worsened after hospital management and Israeli government officials attempted to force feed him.

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