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Lawyer: Issawi close to death

March 13, 2013 5:17 P.M. (Updated: March 19, 2013 9:01 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Samer Issawi "could die at any moment," his lawyer warned Wednesday, after the prisoner escalated his seven-month hunger strike by refusing water.

Medics at Kaplan Medical Center summoned lawyer Jawad Bulous and urged him to convince Issawi to resume taking fluids, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said in a statement.

Issawi is suffering from a cardiovascular disorder, the society said. He has been on hunger strike for 224 days and was hospitalized in late February.

Bulous, who works for the PPS, said Issawi stopped drinking water and taking liquid nutrients on Monday in protest at having to wear ankle restraints and being shackled to his hospital bed.

He is required to keep his restraints on even when using the bathroom, Bulous said, adding that keeping him tied to the bed was inhumane and undignified.

The lawyer said that when he visited Issawi's room he found seven Israeli prison officers eating food to deliberately torment Issawi.

Issawi was granted amnesty in the Oct. 2011 prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas.

Israeli forces arrested him on July 7 and accused him of violating the terms of his release by leaving Jerusalem. Israeli prosecutors are seeking to reinstate Issawi's former sentence.

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