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Jordanian held in Israeli prison reinstates hunger strike

Dec. 31, 2015 7:12 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 31, 2015 9:10 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Jordanian prisoner of Israel, Abdullah Nuh Abu Jaber, reinstated his hunger strike on Thursday, after Israeli authorities reportedly reneged on promises to meet his conditions, Jaber's lawyer said.

Hanan al-Khatib, a lawyer with the Prisoners and Former Prisoners' Affairs Committee said Jaber continued his hunger strike on Dec. 27th after being transferred from Israel's al-Affula hospital, where he was being treated after already having been on hunger strike for 47 days, back to al-Ramla prison hospital.

Jaber said he had initially suspended his strike on Sunday, after he met with an Israeli intelligence officer who allegedly promised to meet his conditions. Jaber was demanding that Israel continue his treatment at al-Affula hospital, allow his family to visit, allow him to contact the Jordanian ambassador, and eventually release him to Jordanian authorities.

Instead, Jaber was transferred back to al-Ramla prison hospital after ending his strike. Jaber reportedly contacted the Israeli intelligence officer after his transfer.

Jaber immediately reinstated his hunger strike after the intelligence officer allegedly apologized to Jaber and informed him that his demands would not be met.

Jabers lawyer told Ma'an that Jaber had since been moved to solitary confinement and was allegedly assaulted by the al-Ramla prison hospital's manager.

Al-Khatib added that Palestinian prisoner Muhammad al-Qiq is also on hunger strike and being held in solitary confinement in al-Ramla prison Israeli authorities against the standards of International Humanitarian Law.

Jaber, who is currently serving a 20 year sentence, started his first hunger strike in protest against his internment on July 18. The Jordanian national's main demand is that he be deported or transferred to a Jordanian prison to serve out the remainder of his sentence.

Earlier this month, Issa Qaraqe, the head of the PA Committee for Prisoner's Affairs, said Israeli authorities have threaten to force feed Jaber if he does not willingly end his strike.

On July 30, the Israeli parliament approved a law allowing prisoners on hunger strike to be force fed, sparking criticism from rights groups and medical experts.

The law, which sought to prevent imprisoned prisoners from pressuring Israel by refusing food, was initially approved in June 2014 at the height of a mass hunger strike of Palestinian detainees, during which dozens were hospitalized.

The law, which passed by 46 votes to 40, "will be used only if a doctor determines that the continued hunger strike will create an immediate risk to the life of a prisoner or long-term damage to his health," David Amsalem of the ruling Likud party said at the time.

The Israeli Medical Association called the law "damaging and unnecessary," stressing in July that its doctors would "continue to act according to medical ethics, which prohibit doctors from participating in torturing prisoners."

It said force feeding was "tantamount to torture."

Physicians for Human Rights Israel said the "shameful" law revealed the "anti-democratic face" of the Israeli parliament, saying they would continue to oppose the law and its implementation, and "support anyone who will refuse to obey the law."

Spokeswomen for both organisations said they were considering filing petitions at the high court against the law, however it is unknown if such petitions have been filed.

The PPS also added that journalist prisoner, Muhammad al-Qiq, who has been on a hunger strike for 28 days, is being held in a solitary confinement by Israeli authorities against the standards of International Humanitarian Law.

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