Days of Palestine

Tuesday, June 6

Israeli Court Rejects Appeal to Fully Release Hunger-Striking Awawdeh

M.Y | DOP -

The Israeli Supreme Court Sunday has rejected the appeal request submitted for the release of Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawda, who has been on hunger strike for 172 days protesting his illegal detention in Israeli jails, despite the severe deterioration in his health conditions.

According to Awawda’s lawyer, Ahlam Hadad, the court rejected the appeal request which demanded the immediate release of the prisoner Awawda and affirmed the desicion to freeze his administrative detention.

The Israeli Court considered that the “freezing” decision is appropriate for the case of Awawda, stressing the implementation of the administrative suspension conditions and that dealing with him should be the same as any patient in the hospital, and that visitors are allowed without discrimination.

Awawda was supposed to be releleased on September 15th, while his lawyer submitted an “immediate release” request to the court in order for the prisoner to be released on September 1st.  The court denied the request after the Shin Bet filed a “confidential file” to the judge.

The Prisoner’s Society clarified that the decision to “freeze” the detention of prisoner Awawda came “based on medical data and reports from the hospital indicating a danger to his life, but if his health condition improves and the detainee decides to leave the hospital, his administrative detention will be activated immediately.”

Awawda is kept at an Israeli hospital, with his hands cuffed to the bed, following the serious deterioration of his health due to the long hunger strike.

Palestinians believe the suspension decision is a ploy to get the prisoner to end and recover from his hunger strike before reinstating the administrative detention order.

Awawda, 40, from the town of Idna in the southern West Bank district of Hebron, broke a 111-day fast last month after being reassured by Israeli prison authorities that his administrative detention would not be renewed, but he resumed the hunger strike a week later after the occupation authorities reneged on their promise not to end his unfair detention order.

Two weeks ago, the Israeli military court of Ofer allowed his lawyer and a physician to visit him for the first time in order to prepare a medical report about his health condition and submit it before the court to look into his release.

The father of four has been in jail since 27 December 2021, and has been placed in administrative detention, without charge or trial, ever since.

Israel’s widely condemned policy of administrative detention allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable intervals usually ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.

Currently, Israel is holding over 680 Palestinians in administrative detention, deemed illegal by international law, most of them former prisoners who spent years in prison for their resistance of the Israeli occupation.

Amnesty International, has described Israel’s administrative detention policy as a “cruel, unjust practice which helps maintain Israel’s system of apartheid against Palestinians.”