Palestinian prisoner Awawdeh’s hunger strike surpasses 180 day
Jerusalem, Aug 30 (EFE).- Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh is in critical condition after going more than 180 days without food in protest of his detention in an Israeli prison without charge or trial, medical experts reported Tuesday.
The doctor who visited Awawdeh at the Shamir medical center near Tel Aviv said that his condition was severely deteriorating and that he looked like a skeleton, weighing only between 38 and 36 kilograms.
Awawdeh, 40, suffers nerve damage due to the low level of vitamins in his body as a result of the hunger strike that he started on March 3, the longest ever held by a Palestinian prisoner in the history of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.
Awawdeh has difficulty moving his limbs, he cannot complete sentences, and he suffers from weakness and pain all over his body, said Bettina Birmanns, a neurologist at Israel’s Physicians for Human Rights NGO.
The severe pain has left him sleep-deprived for continuous periods and his vision deterioration has worsened, among other malfunctions that could lead to sudden organ failures, Birmanns added.
The prisoner demands to be released from his administrative detention, an Israeli system that is currently indefinitely holding more than 720 Palestinians — the highest number since 2008 — on secret information unknown even to their lawyers.
Awawdeh, a father of four from Idhna in the occupied West Bank area of Hebron, stopped eating to protest his fifth incarceration in 20 years, believed to be due to his alleged ties to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, designated as a terrorist organization by Israel.
After the sharp deterioration in his health, Israel transferred Awawdeh to a hospital, where he has been able to receive visits but not from his parents and wife because they do not have the necessary permit to travel from the West Bank.
On August 21, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Awawdeh’s lawyer calling for his immediate release.
However, the lawyer has filed another appeal to end his detention, scheduled to be discussed during a hearing later on Tuesday, a source from Physicians for Human Rights told Efe. EFE