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Hunger-striking Palestinian detainees in critical condition

Palestinian detainees Raed Rayan, Khalil Awawdeh in 'critical condition' amid ongoing hunger strike in Israeli jails
2 min read
17 July, 2022
Both Raed Rayan and Khalil Awawdeh are continuing their hunger strikes in protest of their administrative detention amid a deterioration in their health conditions.
An estimated 680 Palestinians are currently held in administrative detention in Israeli prisons [Getty]

Two Palestinian prisoners remain in critical condition in Israeli prisons as they continue their open-ended hunger strikes in protest over their conditions and detention without trial, said the Detainees Affairs Commission.

Both Raed Rayan and Khalil Awawdeh have been on hunger strike for 102 days and 16 days respectively, and are reportedly said to be suffering from serious health complications, according to the Palestinian Wafa Agency.

27-year-old Rayan, from the Beit Duqqu village, northwest Jerusalem, has been held at Israel’s infamous Ramla Prison clinic, where he has been detained since November 2021. He was given an administrative detention order for a period of six month upon his arrest, and his detention was subsequently renewed in April for an additional six month, prompting him to begin his hunger strike.

Meanwhile, 40-year-old Awawdeh from Ida, Hebron district, has been on hunger strike for 16 days. Last month, he broke a 111-day hunger strike following Israeli authorities’ verbal promise to release him from his administrative detention.

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However, the father of four is reportedly back on hunger strike as Israeli authorities reportedly reversed their decision, according to Wafa. He remains in Shamir Hospital, formerly known as Assaf Harofeh, southeast of Tel Aviv.

Awawdeh was previously held in Ramleh Prison before his condition rapidly deteriorated last month, leading to rapid weight loss, severe headaches and joint pain.

He has been arrested five times in the past, three of which were under the administrative detention system, which keeps the detainee held without charge or imminent release.

Israel continues to implement its administrative detention policy, which allows for the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for periods up to six months, and can be renewed indefinitely.

Israelis often detain Palestinians based on "undisclosed evidence" which even a detainee’s lawyer can be prohibited from viewing.

Israeli is currently holding an estimated 680 Palestinians in administrative detention, considered illegal under international law and has drawn strong condemnation from rights groups, such as Amnesty International, who describe the detention policy as a "cruel, unjust practice which helps maintain Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians".