Palestinian detainee in critical condition following 77 day hunger strike in Israeli detention

Palestinian detainee in critical condition following 77 day hunger strike in Israeli detention
A Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike is facing a serious deterioration of health in an Israeli prison medical clinic, a top organisation warned on Wednesday.
2 min read
West Bank
18 May, 2022
Thousands of Palestinians are in Israeli prisons [Getty]

A Palestinian prisoner on his 77th day of a hunger strike is facing a dangerous deterioration the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC) confirmed on Wednesday.

Khalil Awawda, a Palestinian man from Hebron city in the West Bank, announced his hunger strike on March 3 to protest against his administrative detention. Awawda's health has since taken a nosedive, the PPC said in a press statement sent to The New Arab, pointing to a number of systematic punitive measures by the Israeli Prisons Administration.

The detained Palestinian has now "lost control of his body, faces difficulty in speaking, has poor vision and concentration, severe pain in the head and limbs, and also suffers from severe emaciation and weakness," the group added.

"For 40 days ago, the prison administration did not provide him with new clothes so that he could replace them and did not allow him to shower, and he is still wearing the same clothes,” the PPC said.

The group said Israeli authorities transferred the detainee to the civilian hospital before then returning him to Ramla prison clinic just hours later, due to his alleged refusal to conduct medical examinations.

The administration has refused to admit him into the hospital, claiming there is no immediate threat to his life. 

Awawda has been arrested five times, the most recent incident of which was in December 2021. On three times occasions, he was under administrative detention.

Dalal Awawda, Khalil’s wife, expressed her deep concern about her husband's health condition, especially due to the lack of appropriate treatment.  

"The prison administration is committing a humanitarian crime against him and all prisoners," the mother of four told The New Arab.

"Israel has forbidden my children to live with their father for many years (...) Yet, it did not stop there. The prison authorities want to kill my husband slowly by ignoring his illness and depriving him of treatment."

Awawda called on the Palestinian Authority and the international community to pressure Israel to find a just solution to the thousands of prisoners in Israeli detention, urging for their urgent release. 

According to PPC figures, there are 4,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, 500 of whom are serving administrative detention order, without charge or trial.