Ill Palestinian-Colombian detainee suspends boycott after health deteriorates

Ill Palestinian-Colombian detainee suspends boycott after health deteriorates
Israeli forces arrested Palestinian-Colombian 64-year-old Jamal Zaid in September and detained him without charges. His detention was renewed for the third time on 12 June, the day he was supposed to be released.
3 min read
West Bank
21 June, 2022
After two detention renewals without charges, Zaid is to be released in September. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

Palestinian-Colombian administrative detainee in Israeli jails, Jamal Zaid, suspended his boycott of dialysis sessions, his family said, following several days of abstention from treatment to protest his administrative detention.

The family announced the news in a press conference in Ramallah on Sunday, in which they handed the Colombian consul in Tel Aviv an official petition of intervention for Zaid's release.

The 64-year-old Palestinian, who also holds a Colombian nationality, was arrested in September and placed under administrative detention without charges for a six-month period, according to the Addameer prisoner support association.

His detention order was renewed for an additional three months in March, setting his release date last 12 of June.

Israeli authorities renewed Zaid's detention for another three months on his release day, after which he declared he will abstain from medical treatment in protest.

"My father suffers from kidney dysfunction, uric acid, blood pressure disorder and other health issues and he needs to have two dialysis sessions every week," Loai Zaid, Jamal Zaid’s son told The New Arab.

"Israeli authorities gave his lawyer a promise to 'solve his case' in light of his health condition," Zaid's son added. "My father suspended his protest and took his dialysis session on Sunday, and we have been informed by the lawyer that his health condition is now stable."

Jamal Zaid press conference Ramallah / Qassam Muaddi
Zaid's family requested Colombia's intervention for his release at a press conference in Ramallah [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

"Although he is now stable, Zaid's health deteriorated last week and could put him at serious risk, had he gone on with his boycott of treatment," Mahmoud Hassan, Zaid's lawyer told The New Arab.

"Boycotting dialysis is not like a hunger strike", said Hassan, "It can put one's life at serious risk in a very short time, which is why Jamal Zaid suspended it without a clear commitment to release him by Israeli authorities."

The family held the press conference at the Ramallah chamber of commerce, where Colombia’s consulate in Tel Aviv had installed a voting bureau for Colombians residing in the West Bank, on the occasion of the Colombian presidential elections.

"We have learned of the situation of Colombian citizen Jamal Zaid on Friday, through a statement on this regard issued by Palestine's embassy in Bogota," Ana María Rivero, consul general of Colombia in Tel Aviv told the press.

"We will follow the same procedure as for all Colombian citizens who need help," Rivero stressed.

"We have already sent a letter to Israeli authorities requesting information on this case," she added.

Meanwhile, three Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails also continued their individual hunger strikes, including two administrative detainees.

Khalil Awawdeh, 40 years old, and Raed Rayan, 27 years old, entered their 111th and 76th days without food respectively, protesting their continuous detention without charges.

Jamal Zaid 's son speaks to the press in Ramallah / Qasam Muaddi
Zaid suspended his abstention from dialysis sessions after Israeli authorities gave his lawyer a promise of release in September, said his son. [Qassam Muaddi/TNA]

According to the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, Awawdeh has been transferred to the Israeli Asaf Harofeh Civil Hospital, while Rayan remains in the Ramleh Prison Clinic.

Meanwhile, Zakariyah Zubeidi, one of the six Gilboa prison breakers and former leader of Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigades in the Jenin refugee camp has been on hunger strike for 17 days, in support of Awawdeh and Rayan.

Some 4600 Palestinians are currently held in Israeli jails, including 600 held without charges under the 'administrative detention' policy.