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'Save us,' hunger striker Malik al-Qadi implores in message to Palestinian people

Sept. 19, 2016 3:22 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 19, 2016 6:45 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Malik al-Qadi, who has gone without food for 66 days, called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and all Palestinians to support him and other hunger-striking prisoners in a statement released on Monday by the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs.

"Don't leave us alone! I ask President Mahmoud Abbas to intervene as quickly as possible, and I ask every holder of a Palestinian identity document who has conscience to support us in this battle,” al-Qadi’s statement reportedly read, referring to himself and fellow hunger strikers Mahmoud and Muhammad Balboul, who have refused food for 77 and 75 days respectively.

“The three of us are dying and we have reached a very difficult stage. Save us!"

The Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs reiterated that the medical conditions of al-Qadi and the Balboul brothers were worsening day by day, adding that "they could die at any moment."

The committee did not comment on al-Qadi’s condition, after Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported on Sunday that the Palestinian prisoner had come out of a week-long coma.

Earlier this month, an Israeli court temporarily 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 improved.

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

On Tuesday, the Israeli Supreme Court rejected an appeal submitted by al-Qadi’s lawyers to release al-Qadi from administrative detention due to his critical health condition.

Rights groups have claimed that Israel's administrative detention policy, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals based on undisclosed evidence, has been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, students, and journalists.

Although Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention 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.

According to Addameer, as of August, 7,000 Palestinians were being held in Israeli prisons, 700 of whom were being held under administrative detention.
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