ICRC concerned about Palestinian hunger strikers
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed deep concern over the deteriorating health condition of two Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike for nearly two months in protest against their administrative detention in an Israeli jail.
An unnamed ICRC doctor, who examines 20-year-old Anas Ibrahim Shadid and Ahmad Abu Farah, 29, on a regular basis, urged the hunger strikers, their representatives and prison officials on Friday to “find a solution before the detainees lose their lives or develop irreversible damages to their health.”
Shadid and Abu Farah, both residents of the southern occupied West Bank city of Surif, were arrested on August 1, and have been held in solitary confinement at Israel’s high-security Megiddo prison ever since.
The young Palestinian men have stopped eating their food portions since late September.
Last week, the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs pointed to Shadid’s worsening condition, stating that he has lost his ability to walk, move, and talk “unless with great difficulty.”
“He is also suffering from constant headaches and dizziness, weakness in his heart, asthma, vision difficulties, and severe pains in the eyes, chest, and stomach,” the statement further noted.
Abu Farah is also suffering from pain in his chest plus abdomen, and experiencing blurred vision as well as difficulty in speaking.
There are reportedly more than 6,500 Palestinians held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.
Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.
The Palestinian inmates regularly hold hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.