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Palestinian hunger-striking inmate may die any moment: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Maher al Akhras, 49, is a Palestinian who has been on a hunger strike against his detention without charge by Israel. He is seen in a hospital bed in Rehovot, Israel, October 13, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

An official report has warned that the death of Palestinian prisoner Maher al-Akhras, who has been on hunger strike for 85 days, is imminent and could take place at any moment.

The media office of the Islamic Jihad’s Muhjat al-Quds Foundation for Prisoners raised the alarm in a statement on Monday, saying that the 49-year-old Akhras is continuing his open hunger strike in protest at his administrative detention for the 85th day.

The office added that the Palestinian prisoner, who is currently in the Israeli Kaplan hospital, is in a very serious health condition.

The open hunger strike refers to the detainee’s refusal to eat all kinds and forms of food with the exception of water and salt.

Physicians have already warned of damage to several organs of the Palestinian prisoner’s body, such as the kidneys, liver, and heart, adding that the inmate’s senses of hearing and speaking have also been affected negatively.

Akhras was detained on July 27, and was held under the administrative detention, with no charge. This has led him to start a hunger strike in an attempt to seek justice against the unfair detention.

The Commission of Palestinian Detainees and Ex-Detainees has said Akhras would only end his strike if he was released immediately.

Akhras’ wife has also announced a hunger strike and sit-in outside the hospital in support of her husband, calling for his immediate release.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are under administrative detention, in which Israel keeps the detainees for up to six months, a period which can be extended an infinite number of times. Women and minors are among these detainees.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express their outrage at the detention. Palestinians hold Israeli authorities fully responsible for any deterioration of the circumstances in jails. 

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held in Israeli jails.

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