The health condition of Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh has become more critical than before as he entered on Wednesday day 172 of the hunger strike he staged in protest at his administrative detention.
As he nears the sixth month of his hunger strike, Awawdeh is in a life-threatening health condition, weighing less than 35 kilograms.
Doctors in Assaf Harofeh Hospital and prisoner rights groups have warned that Awawdeh, father of four from the village of Idhna in the occupied West Bank, could die at any moment.
The Israeli high court of justice rejected on Tuesday a petition demanding the release of Awawdeh, whose administrative detention was frozen recently but not ultimately cancelled.
As a result of his prolonged hunger strike, Awawdeh suffers from multiple health problems, including severe joint pains, a persistent headache, emaciation, extreme fatigue, irregular heartbeats and breathing, and blurred eyesight.
According to doctors, Awawdeh is facing the risk of heart attack. He is also at significant risk of irreversible organ damage even if he ceases his hunger strike.
Awawdeh was kidnaped in December 2021, and since then he has been held under administrative detention – a tool used by the Israeli occupation authority in order to jail Palestinians for several months without charge or trial and extend their detention indefinitely.
Meanwhile, prisoners Ahmed and Idhal Mousa, brothers from al-Khader town in Bethlehem, have been on open-ended hunger strike for 25 days in protest at their administrative detention without trial or charge.
The brothers were kidnaped by the Israeli occupation forces on August 7, 2022 and later an Israeli military court approved the administrative detention of Ahmed for four months and Idhal for three months.
Out of the approximately 4,450 Palestinian prisoners currently held by Israel, about 670 are being held as administrative detainees, a number that has increased since March as Israel stepped up its raids in the occupied West Bank.
Administrative detention is an Israeli policy that allows the indefinite detention of prisoners without trial or indictment based on alleged “secret evidence” that neither the detainee nor his lawyer is allowed to know.
Human rights groups have always described Israel’s use of this type of detention as arbitrary and a violation of the international law.