RAMALLAH, Friday, October 2, 2020 (WAFA) – A Palestinian detainee who has been on hunger strike for almost 70 days in protest of his administrative detention is in serious health condition, according to the Prisoners’ Affairs Commission.
The Commission attorney Fawaz Shaludi announced that he visited Maher al-Akhras, who has been transferred to Kaplan Medical Center in central Israel after going on hunger strike for 68 consecutive days, and confirmed that al-Akhras was in a serious and very worrying health condition.
Al-Akhras confirmed to Shaludi during the visit that he was “continuing this battle till the final chapter, which is ending his administrative detention and releasing him or dying.”
Shaludi pointed out that al-Akhras was not taking nutrients, except for water, and was suffering from constant headache, severe fatigue, weight loss and constant ear buzzing, and could not get off the bed, even to go to the toilet, due to severe pains.
Al-Akhras, a 49-year-old resident of the Jenin-district town of Silat al-Dahr, was arrested on July 27, 2020, and has been sentenced to four months in administrative detention without charge or trial.
Following his hunger strike and subsequent severe health deterioration, al-Akhras was transferred by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) to the Kaplan Medical Center, where doctors received permission to force-feed him, and his health deterioration prompted IPS to freeze his administrative detention.
The Palestine Prisoner’s Society (PPS) affirmed that freezing al-Akhras’ detention instead of cancelling it was an act of deception and constituted an attempt to end his hunger strike without granting him his legitimate rights.
Al-Akhras was detained four times before. He was first detained in 1989, when he spent seven months in detention, for the second time in 2004, when he spent two years in detention and once again in 2009, when he was held for 16 months in administrative detention, and another time in 2018 when he spent 11 months in detention.
Israel’s widely condemned practice of administrative detention that allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable intervals ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.
The US State Department has said in past reports on human rights conditions for Palestinians that administrative detainees are not given the “opportunity to refute allegations or address the evidentiary material presented against them in court.”
Amnesty International has described Israel’s use of administrative detention as a “bankrupt tactic” and has long called on Israel to bring its use to an end.
Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy, which violates international law.