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Lawyer: Palestinian prisoner in terrible health condition after 169 days of hunger strike

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)
Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh (photo by the Palestinian Information Center)

The lawyer of Palestinian hunger striking prisoner Khalil Awawdeh says the 40-year-old inmate is facing terribly difficult health conditions after being on hunger strike for nearly six months.

The new revelation came on Sunday after Awawdeh entered 169th day of his open-ended hunger strike in protest at Israel’s so-called policy of administrative detention.

The Palestinian prisoner's lawyer added that Awawdeh has lost half of his weight and his ability to speak, Palestine’s official Wafa news agency reported.   

Doctors in Assaf Harofeh Hospital and prisoner rights groups have warned that Awawdeh could die at any moment.

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Awawdeh, a father of four, has been arrested five times since 2005 for political activism, and has been placed under so-called administrative detention three times ever since.

He 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.

On August 19, an Israeli military court urgently suspended the administrative detention of the hunger-striking Palestinian. However, his lawyers said Awawdeh will press ahead with his hunger strike until he is granted a full release.

He is one of several Palestinian prisoners who have gone on prolonged hunger strikes over the years to protest so-called administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold prisoners without charge practically indefinitely.

Meanwhile, two other Palestinian prisoners have also been on hunger strike for 21 days in protest against their detention without charge by the hands of the Tel Aviv regime.

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Ahmad Musa, 44, and his brother, Addal, 34, from al-Khader village, south of the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, were arrested by Israeli forces on August 7 and later an Israeli military court approved the administrative detention of Ahmed for four months and Idhal for three months.

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

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes in an attempt to express outrage at their detention. Israeli jail authorities keep Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions without proper hygienic standards. Palestinian inmates have also been subject to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.

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