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Hunger striking Palestinian prisoner rushed to intensive care unit

Sept. 4, 2016 8:42 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 5, 2016 9:51 A.M.)

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Balboul, who has been on hunger strike in Israeli custody since July 4, was rushed to the intensive care unit at Israel’s Assaf Harofeh Hospital on Sunday following serious health complications.

A statement from the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs said Balboul was in a very “severe condition,” as he has lost more than 30 kilograms of his weight and has had difficulty speaking.

The committee had said in a previous statement last month that Israeli doctors warned Balboul could be paralyzed if he continues to refuse to take vitamins. Sunday’s statement highlighted that Balboul has been consuming only water.

Brothers Mahmoud and Muhammad Balboul began their hunger strikes on July 4 and 7 respectively. The brothers were detained on June 9 and sentenced to administrative detention -- an Israeli policy of internment without charge or trial, shortly before their younger sister Nuran, 16, was released after spending four months in Israeli jail.

Muhammad was also rushed to intensive care on Thursday following a severe deterioration in his health.

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