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Video shows deteriorating health of hunger-striking Palestinian Anas Shadid

Dec. 15, 2016 10:50 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 16, 2016 10:21 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A video published online Wednesday showed the deteriorating health of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Anas Shadid, who has been going without food for 83 days.

The short video showed the young Palestinian groaning in pain lying on a bed in the Israeli Assaf Harofeh hospital.

Palestinian doctor Rafiq Masalha, who has conducted medical tests for both Shadid and fellow hunger-striking prisoner Ahmad Abu Farah, indicated in a report that Shadid had lost more than 15 kilograms, had become increasingly weak, and could no longer sit nor stand.

Masalha added that Abu Farah, who has abstained from food for 84 days, suffered from difficulties speaking, eyesight and muscle weakness, chest and stomach pains, and couldn’t swallow water.

The medical report added that if Shadid continued his hunger strike, he could suffer from permanent damage to his brain and heart, kidney and liver failure, and partially lose his eyesight.

The Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal on Monday filed by Shadid and Abu Farah’s lawyers, which included Masalha’s medical report, demanding the hunger strikers’ immediate release due to their critical health conditions.

Shadid and Abu Farah, both residents of the southern occupied West Bank village of Dura, announced on Monday that they had decided to stop drinking water and to boycott Israeli courts in response to the Israeli Supreme Court’s rejection of their appeal.

Up until then, Abu Farah and Shadid had gone without food and refused all forms of nutrition except water in protest of being placed under administrative detention -- an Israeli policy of internment without charge or trial based on undisclosed evidence.

An Israeli court suspended the prisoners' detention orders on Nov. 18 due to the deteriorating health of the hunger strikers, but the two have expressed their commitment to continue with their hunger strikes until their administrative detentions were lifted completely.

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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