Palestinian hunger strikers on brink of death: Medical source
An Israeli medical source has warned about the worsening health condition of two Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike for over two months in protest against their administrative detention in an Israeli jail, stating that the pair is facing the risk of sudden death.
Benny Davidson, the director of Assaf Harofeh Medical Center, said on Thursday that the health of 20-year-old Anas Ibrahim Shadid and Ahmad Abu Farah, 29, both residents of the southern occupied West Bank city of Surif, is deteriorating despite being treated in the intensive care unit.
Davidson went on to say that serious damage could occur to the hunger strikers’ vital organs, which could lead to permanent disability or even sudden death.
The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs stated last week that Shadid and Abu Farah had slipped into coma and lost their ability to speak, drink, and hear.
The committee also warned that Israeli authorities had threatened to force-feed the Palestinian hunger strikers.
On November 18, an Israeli court temporarily suspended the prisoners’ jail terms. The hunger strikers have, however, continued their refusal to take in food portions, demanding complete freedom and transfer to a Palestinian hospital.
Shadid and Abu Farah 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 food since late September.
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 jails without trial or charge.
Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to 11 years.
The Palestinian inmates regularly hold hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.