Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner in serious condition: Ministry - Balkan Times

Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner in serious condition: Ministry

The Palestinian Health Ministry says prisoner Hesham Abu Hawash's health is in a critical stage after almost five months of hunger strike in protest against Israel's policy of administrative detention.

Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner in serious condition: Ministry – The Palestinian Health Ministry says prisoner Hesham Abu Hawash’s health is in a critical stage after almost five months of hunger strike in protest against Israel’s policy of administrative detention.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Friday that a Health Ministry delegation had visited Abu Hawash. “His health condition is seriously dangerous as he suffers blurry vision, significant muscular atrophy and inability to move and talk,” the delegation said.

Stressing that the worst is expected at any moment as he has entered the 138th consecutive day of his hunger strike, the Health Ministry said its delegation had obtained the medical examinations on the 40-year-old and that they showed a critical shortage of potassium salt and an increase in liver enzymes.

The Health Ministry also said it had reached out to international human rights organizations to demand that Abu Hawash be moved to a Palestinian hospital under these circumstances.

Abu Hawash is one among several other hunger-striking Palestinians who are demanding an end to Israel’s administrative detention policy. The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported on Sunday that the Israeli occupation authorities had issued a decision to freeze the administrative detention order against Abu Hawash.

An attorney for the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), Jawad Boulos, said the Palestinian inmate had decided to continue his hunger strike despite his deteriorating health condition until the order is canceled. The PPS said the freezing decision does not mean ending Abu Hawash’s administrative detention in any way, but rather means that the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) and Israel’s internal spy agency Shin Bet are no longer responsible for the hunger-striking prisoner’s life and fate.

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in Israeli jails. Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years. Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the practice. Over a dozen Palestinian lawmakers and nearly 20 journalists are also held in Israeli detention centers, several of them under the same detention policy.

In 2015, Israel approved a law that authorizes force-feeding the Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike, a practice rejected by the United Nations as a violation of human rights. The UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well as many human rights group have frequently expressed serious concern about the hunger strikers’ health condition.

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(The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect BalkanTimes editorial stance.

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