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Israeli guard 'assaults prisoner on hunger strike'

June 26, 2013 5:01 P.M. (Updated: June 26, 2013 5:01 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- An Israeli guard assaulted a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike in an Israeli hospital on Monday, a human rights organization said Wednesday.

The guard dragged Abdullah al-Barghouti from his hospital bed to the floor and kicked him in the face, causing bleeding, the Solidarity Foundation for Human Rights said in a statement.

The guard was angry that al-Barghouti closed the door during a bathroom visit despite instructions to leave it open, the group said.

Ahmad al-Betawi, a researcher for the foundation, said the attack was also motivated by al-Barghouti's complaint to Israel's high court over his treatment by prison guards.

Al-Barghouti has been on hunger strike for 56 days.

Hanan al-Khatib, a lawyer for the PA Detainee Affairs Ministry, visited Barghouthi earlier in June and said he was chained to his hospital bed by his legs and his left hand.

Prison guards have turned Barghouthi's hospital room "into a kitchen" to harass him, al-Khatib said. They also provoke him by having noisy gatherings in his room.

Barghouthi told the lawyer he felt isolated from the world as he is not allowed to receive newspapers or listen to news bulletins.

A Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship, Barghouthi is demanding his release from Israeli prison to serve the remainder of his sentence in a Jordanian jail, under the Wadi Araba agreement between Jordan and Israel.

Barghouthi is also demanding that Israel disclose the whereabouts of 20 missing Jordanian prisoners, he told Addameer lawyer Faris Ziyad. Further, he is calling on Israel to remove the bodies of Palestinians who died in Israeli custody from nameless graves.

Barghouthi is serving 67 life terms, the highest sentence ever handed down by an Israeli military court. He has been detained since March 2003.

A Hamas leader, Barghouthi was convicted of involvement in multiple attacks in Israel.
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