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Palestinian prisoner’s wife joins hunger strike, as medics warn he’s at death’s door

A 49-year-old Palestinian prisoner and father of six children from Jenin, has been on hunger strike for 70 consecutive days

The wife of Palestinian prisoner and hunger striker Maher Al-Akhras announced yesterday that she will be joining her husband in his ongoing hunger strike, reported Wafa news agency.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), Taghrid Al-Akhras hopes that by joining her husband’s hunger strike, she will be able to garner more attention to his case and his deteriorating health condition.

Al-Akhras, a 49-year-old father of six from Silat Ad-Daher town, south of Jenin, has been on hunger strike for 73 consecutive days.

He began his strike after he was arrested and placed into administrative detention in late July.

Taghrid spoke of the lack of real solidarity with her husband, saying that the occupation authorities aim to kill him. She said: “My husband’s health is constantly worsening and his spasms are now frequent and dangerous.”

READ: Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners exposes its racist cruelty

He is currently in Kaplan Medical Centre, having been diagnosed with hypertension in 2018, and now suffering from significant weight loss.

On Tuesday, a number of activists and members of Knesset from the Joint List visited Al-Akhras at the hospital. However, upon their arrival, MKs Ofer CassifAhmad Tibi and Osama Saadi were detained for nearly 20 minutes at the hospital entrance.

“I visited Al-Akhras two weeks ago, but his condition has deteriorated since, he is suffering and being tormented,” Cassif told Local Call.

“If Israel lets him die, it will be the fault of the Israeli government,” added Cassif. He said he had demanded Defence Minister Benny Gantz to release Al-Akhras but was rejected by defence officials.

“Administrative detention is the ugliest of tools,” said Tibi at the entrance to the hospital. “There are no charges, only a secret case. He’s facing death, so we came here to demand his release.”

READ: Palestinian prisoner begins 36th year in Israeli jail 

The PPS affirmed that “freezing” Al-Akhras’ detention instead of cancelling it is an “act of deception and constituted an attempt to end his hunger strike without granting him his legitimate rights.”

“From his hospital bed, Al-Akhras voiced one message to his lawyer,” the PPS added, “Either freedom or martyrdom.”

He added: “Doctors say I might die at any moment.”

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