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Israeli court throws out appeal request for hunger-striking prisoner

Picture taken during a rally held in solidarity with Palestinian administrative prisoner Khalil Awawdeh. (Photo by The Palestine Chronicle)

The Israeli regime’s Supreme Court tosses out an appeal request submitted for the release of a Palestinian prisoner, who has been on hunger strike for 172 days in protest at his illegal detention.

The court nixed the request lodged by Khalil Awawda’s lawyer on Sunday, despite severe deterioration in his health conditions, the official Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.

The court denied the request after the regime’s internal security apparatus Shin Bet forwarded a "confidential file" to the judge.

Awawda initially staged a 111-day hunger strike, which he suspended in light of an Israeli promise to release him. He resumed the protest action when the regime's prison officials reneged on their promise to let him go free.

The Supreme Court upheld a decision to “freeze” Awawda’s administrative detention, based on which a prisoner is held in confinement without charge or trial.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said the decision to “freeze” the detention was “based on medical data and reports from the hospital indicating a danger to his life.”

“But if his health condition improves and the detainee decides to leave the hospital, his administrative detention will be activated immediately,” the NGO added.

Awawda is currently being kept at an Israeli hospital, with his hands handcuffed to the bed, the news agency reported.

“Palestinians believe the suspension decision is a ploy to get the prisoner to end and recover from his hunger strike before reinstating the administrative detention order,” it added.

Awawda, 40-year-old father of four, has been arrested five times since 2005 for political activism, and has been placed in administrative detention three times ever since.

Thousands of Palestinians are held in Israeli jails. Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Geneva Convention.

They say administrative detention violates the right to due process since the evidence is withheld from prisoners while they are held for lengthy periods without being charged, tried, or convicted.

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