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Israeli court postpones hunger strike appeal decision

May 3, 2012 5:29 P.M. (Updated: May 4, 2012 10:23 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israel's Supreme Court has postponed issuing a decision on appeals by hunger-striking prisoners to be released, a lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoners Society said Thursday.

Jawad Boulos said that the court would rule on the appeals at a future date and gave clear instructions to prison authorities to provide medical care to Bilal Diab, 27, from Jenin, and Thaer Halahla, 33, from Hebron, who have refused food since Feb. 29.

Diab reportedly collapsed in court, Boulos said, and was examined by Israeli MK Ahmad Tibi, who is a physician.

The prosecution claim that both prisoners represent a threat to the security of Israel, Boulos said.

An Israeli doctor who visited them on Monday warned Diab was at risk of immediate death, the prisoner rights group Addameer said.

"Bilal’s life-threatening condition includes sharp weight loss, concern for peripheral nerve damage, extremely low pulse (39 beats per minute) and blood pressure, severe dehydration, and possible internal bleeding," the doctor told Addameer.

Diab and Halahla are among over 300 Palestinian detainees held in Israeli jails in administrative detention without charge or trial.

Human Rights Watch on Wednesday called on Israel to "immediately charge or release people jailed without charge or trial under so-called administrative detention," in a statement.
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