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Lawyer: Hunger striking prisoner hospitalized

Sept. 17, 2012 8:15 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 19, 2012 11:13 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian prisoner Samer al-Barq was hospitalized on Monday as he entered his 119th day on hunger strike, a lawyer said.

Jawad Boulos of the Palestinian prisoners society told Ma'an that al-Barq was taken to a civilian hospital in central Israel after collapsing in Ramla prison clinic.

Doctors at the clinic could not deal with al-Barq's health condition and he was transferred by ambulance to Assaf Harofeh medical center.

Al-Barq had stopped drinking water or taking intravenous fluids, Boulos said.

Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe told Ma'an on Sunday that Israel had agreed to al-Barq's request to be deported to Egypt.

No date has been set for the arrangement to be carried out, Qaraqe added, noting that al-Barq will not end his hunger strike action until the agreement is finalized.

He has been detained without charge or trial since July 2010.

He ended a month-long hunger strike in May after Israel agreed to address the issue of administrative detention and resumed his hunger strike a week later when Israel renewed his detention without charge or trial.

The European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Friday called on Israel to "do all it can to preserve the health" of Palestinian hunger strikers in Israeli jails.

In addition to al-Barq, Hassan Safadi has been on renewed hunger strike for 89 days and Ayman Sharawna has refused food for 79 days.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned on Friday that the hunger strikers were in a critical condition, and urged a prompt solution.
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