Palestinian hunger strikers face ‘sudden death’

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Cii Radio| Sabera Sheik Essop| 01 December 2016| 01 Rabi ul Awal 1438

Palestinian hunger striking prisoners Anas Shadid and Ahmad Abu Farah risk “sudden death”, the head of the Israeli medical centre where they were treated has warned.

The head of the Assaf HaRofeh Medical Centre presented a report to the Israeli Supreme Court stating that Shadid and Abu Farah were being treated in the intensive care unit and faced the very real risk that serious damage could occur to their vital organs, which could lead to permanent disability or even sudden death.

Shadid, 20, and 29-year-old Abu Farah have been on hunger strike for 68 and 69 days respectively, in protest of being placed under administrative detention – an Israeli policy of imprisonment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence.

The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs stated on Saturday that both had slipped into a coma and have partially or completely lost their ability to breath, speak, drink and hear. The committee also warned that Israeli authorities had threatened to force feed both hunger strikers.

An Israeli court temporarily suspended the prisoners’ detention orders on 18 November due to their deteriorating health condition, according to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun. However, the hunger strikers have continued to refuse food until they are completely released from detention and transferred to a Palestinian hospital.
Scores of Palestinian prisoners have launched hunger strikes in the past year to protest various issues, most notably administrative detention.

Rights groups claim Israel’s policy of administrative detention has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists and journalists.

According to Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons as of October, 720 of whom were being held in administrative detention.

Source : Middle East Monitor