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2 Palestinian prisoners keep hunger strike going against Israeli detention policy

This file photo shows Israeli forces outside the cells of Palestinian prisoners at a detention facility.

Two Palestinian inmates are still on an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli prisons in protest at their indefinite, unfair and unexplained imprisonment without charge or trial.

The 40-year old Khalil Awawdeh, who hails from a town around the southern occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron), started his hunger strike 52 days ago in protest against Israel's so-called policy of administrative detention – a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge, Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported on Sunday.

He is reported to be suffering from headaches, fatigue, pain in the joints, irregular heartbeats, frequent vomiting and significant loss of weight since he stopped eating. 

Another and the latest is Ra’ed Rayyan, 27, who is from the village of Bayt Duqu near the occupied city of al-Quds. He has been on hunger strike for 18 consecutive days, demanding an end to his detention without charge.

The two Palestinian hunger strikers have been demanding an end to their administrative detention based on a “secret file” even their lawyers are not allowed to view. The so-called files are provided by the Israeli intelligence service.

Israel has been warned of worsening health conditions of the hunger strikers, particularly Awawdeh, adding that they are facing an imminent threat to their lives.

The United Nations (UN) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), as well as many human rights group have frequently expressed serious concern about hunger strikes’ health condition and call for their immediate release.

Rights groups describe Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and have long called on Israel to bring its use to an end. They have described Israel's administrative detention policy as a “cruel, unjust practice which helps maintain Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.” 

There are reportedly more than 7,000 Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Geneva Convention.

Israeli jail authorities keep Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. Palestinian inmates have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.

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