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Israel court rejects appeal for release of hunger-striking prisoner

Palestinian detainee, Khalil Awawdeh [@HudaFadil9/Twitter]
Palestinian detainee, Khalil Awawdeh [@HudaFadil9/Twitter]

An Israeli occupation court yesterday rejected an appeal submitted for the release of prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on hunger strike for 157 days, his lawyer said.

Awawdeh, his lawyer said, has been on hunger strike in protest against his administrative detention – being jailed without charge or trial.

Chairman of the Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs Commission Qadri Abu-Baker held the Israeli occupation and the prison administration fully responsible for the deterioration in Awawdeh's health.

Dr Lina Qasem-Hassan, of Physicians for Human Rights Israel, visited him on Thursday at Assaf Harofeh Medical Centre where he was transferred after his condition worsened.

She said he weighed 42 kilogrammes, was handcuffed to a bed and surrounded by guards.

"He suffers from severe neurological symptoms and cognitive impairment, which might be irreversible," the rights group said in a statement. "His life is in immediate danger."

READ: Israel imposes extra restrictions on Gilboa Prison escapees

Awawdeh could no longer recognise his wife, Dalal, who visited him a couple of days ago. Now, he needs a wheelchair and help to move.

Awawdeh resumed his 111-day hunger strike on 2 July, after suspending it for a week. The occupation authorities had promised to release him but they broke their promise and issued a new administrative detention order against him for four months. Forcing him to protest once again.

The father of four was detained on 27 December 2021 and placed under administrative detention – a policy that allows Israeli authorities to detain Palestinians for a renewable period of six months without charge or trial.

The Times of Israel says that Israel is currently holding some 4,400 Palestinian prisoners. Around 670 of them are under administrative detention.

"Israel's use of administrative detention blatantly violates the restrictions of international law. Israel carries it out in a highly classified manner that denies detainees the possibility of mounting a proper defense," says Israeli human rights group B'Tselem.

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