Dozens of Palestinian prisoners to hunger strike in solidarity with Raed Rayan, Khalil Awawdeh

Dozens of Palestinian prisoners to hunger strike in solidarity with Raed Rayan, Khalil Awawdeh
Palestinian detainees across a number of Israeli jails will show solidarity with Khalil Awawdeh and Raed Rayan by going on hunger strike.
3 min read
23 July, 2022
Rights groups estimate that there are at least 680 Palestinian administrative detainees currently held across prisons in Israel [Getty]

Dozens of Palestinian prisoners held across various Israeli prisons announced that they will go on hunger strike on Sunday in solidarity with the hunger striking prisoners Khalil Awawdeh and Raed Rayan, according to the Palestinian Commission of Prisoners' Affairs.

Awawdeh and Rayan, who are both under administrative detention, have been on a hunger strike for 22 days and 108 days, respectively. Forty-year-old Awawdeh had previously been on hunger strike for 111 days, which he broke last month following Israeli authorities’ promise to release him from his administrative detention.

However, authorities reneged on their decision to release him, prompting the father-of-four from Hebron district, occupied West Bank, to resume his hunger strike.

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Awawdeh has been arrested five times prior, three of which resulted in him being placed in the administrative detention, which allows for Israeli authorities to hold Palestinian detainees without charge or pending release.

Meanwhile, 28-year-old Rayan from Beit Duqqu village, northwest Jerusalem, has been in administrative detention since November last year. He was put in detention for six months, which was subsequently renewed in April for an additional period of the same length, leading him to begin his hunger strike.

Both detainees are on hunger strike in protest over their conditions, as well as to demand an end to their detention, that has been ongoing without trial.

Awawdeh and Rayan are also said to be in critical condition, as their health has significantly deteriorated, reported the Palestinian Wafa news agency.

At least 75 detainees are expected to begin their hunger strike tomorrow, according to the Prisoners Affairs Commission, Hasan Abed Rabbo.

Palestinian prisoners often go on hunger strike to protest harsh condition and illegal periods of detentions in Israeli prisons, which are often indefinitely renewed.

The administrative detention policy is used by Israel to hold Palestinian prisoners without trial, charge, or definite release date often on "secretively-obtained evidence". Detention periods can also renewed for unlimited periods of time.

The practice has been widely denounced by rights groups and the international community, who have called it "cruel and unjust" against Palestinian detainees.

There are currently 682 Palestinians held in Israel in administrative detention without charge or trial. Israel has issued more than 54,000 administrative detention orders against Palestinian activists since its occupation beginning in 1967.