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Watch: Mother reunited with hunger-striking Muhammad Balboul in intensive care

Sept. 11, 2016 9:27 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 14, 2016 3:43 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Sanaa Balboul, the mother of hunger-striking brothers Mahmoud and Muhammad Balboul, was able to visit her sons on Sunday for the first time since they were taken by Israeli soldiers after a raid on their home on June 9.

The visit to the intensive care unit of Israel’s Wolfson Medical Center, where both Mahmoud and Muhammad are being treated, was facilitated by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The video shows a visibly weak Muhammad embracing his mother for the first time in more than two months.

However, due to a severe deterioration in his health, Mahmoud remained asleep throughout the visit.

Meanwhile, Malik al-Qadi, the third Palestinian prisoner hunger striking against Israel’s policy of administrative detention -- internment without charge or trial under which all three are being held -- remained in a coma on Sunday on his 57th day without food. He is also in the intensive care unit of Wolfson Medical Center.

On Friday, an Israeli court  emporarily suspended al-Qadi’s administrative detention, just one day following the suspension of the Balboul brothers’ detentions. In all three cases, the courts said the sentences would be suspended until their health conditions improve.

However, all three prisoners have steadfastly committed to their hunger strikes until they are completely released from administrative detention.

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled on Sunday that a law that permits force feeding hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners is constitutional, rejecting petitions filed last year by the Israel Medical Association (IMA) and by several human rights groups who argued the law contravened medical law and ethics regarding patients’ rights.

It remained unclear as of Sunday if the detention sentences of three hunger strikers would be renewed after their suspension, or how the Israeli Supreme Court decision would affect their strikes.

The law can reportedly only be applied if it is approved by the Israeli attorney-general and a president of a district court, and a doctor determines that the hunger strike, if continued, would cause irreparable damage to the prisoner or that his life is in danger.
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