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Islamic Jihad warns against death of Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike

Palestinians in Gaza take part in a protest to solidarity with Abu Hawash, who has been on hunger strike in Israeli jails 16 December 2021 [Salam Yasser/ApaImages]
Palestinians in Gaza take part in a protest in solidarity with Abu Hawash, who has been on hunger strike in Israeli jails 16 December 2021 [Salam Yasser/ApaImages]

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement warned Thursday that the death of a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike in an Israeli prison would be considered an assassination, Anadolu News Agency reports.

If Hisham Abu Hawash, who has been on hunger strike for 136 days, "is martyred, we will consider this a premeditated assassination carried out by the enemy (Israel) and we will deal with the matter in accordance with the requirements of our commitment to respond to any assassination," Ziyad Al-Nakhala, leader of the Islamic Jihad movement, said in a statement.

Earlier Thursday, the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PCC), an NGO advocating for Palestinian prisoners' rights, expressed concern that Abu Hawash is facing a "critical health condition in the Israeli Assaf Harofeh Hospital."

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It said Abu Hawash "continues his battle (his hunger strike) for the 136th consecutive day" while Israeli authorities refuse "to respond to his demand to end administrative detention."

Abu Hawash is one of about 60 prisoners and administrative detainees who are on hunger strike against Israel's policy of administrative detention.

Administrative detention permits Israeli authorities to keep a prisoner in custody indefinitely without prosecution or trial.

A father of five, Abu Hawash was arrested by Israeli authorities on 27 October, 2020 under administrative detention.

At least 500 of around 4,550 Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons are administrative detainees, according to institutions monitoring the situation and treatment of prisoners.

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