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Lawyer files appeal to transfer hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners to Ramallah hospital

Nov. 25, 2016 3:49 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 27, 2016 10:33 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The lawyer for hunger-striking prisoners Anas Shadid and Ahmad Abu Farah filed an appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court on Friday demanding that the court transfer the hunger strikers to the Ramallah governmental hospital, according to a statement released by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners' Affairs.

Lawyer Ahlam Haddad filed the appeal to the Israeli Supreme Court following a serious deterioration of the hunger strikers’ health conditions. Shadid, 20, and Abu Farah, 29, have been on hunger strike since Sept. 24 and 23, respectively in protest of being placed under administrative detention -- an Israeli policy of internment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence.

The committee added in the statement that the Israeli government would be responsible for any life threatening consequences caused by the hunger strikes.

An Israeli court temporarily suspended the prisoners’ detention orders on Nov. 18 due to the deteriorating health of the hunger strikers, according to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun.

According to a statement released by the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) on Wednesday, the two are currently being held in a solitary room in Israel’s Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, where they have been suffering from constant headaches, partial loss of eyesight, chest pains, stomach pains, weight loss, vomiting, and irregular heartbeats.

Another Palestinian held in administrative detention, Ammar Ibrahim Hamour, declared an open hunger strike on Monday. Israeli authorities have issued two six-month administrative detention orders against Hamour since he was initially detained by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, Nour al-Din Amar, 30, has been on hunger strike for around 24 days after launching his strike at the beginning of November in protest of serving more than three years in solitary confinement, while his family reported that he has not yet been treated for a broken arm he sustained during a beating by Israeli soldiers.

Meanwhile, scores of Palestinian prisoners have launched hunger strikes in the past year to protest various issues, most notably administrative detention. The most prominent hunger strikers included Muhammad al-Qiq, Bilal Kayid, and brothers Muhammad and Mahmoud Balboul.

Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence, is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.

Rights groups have claimed that Israel's administrative detention policy has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.

According to Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons as of October, 720 of whom were being held in administrative detention.

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