Ramallah, occupied West Financial institution – The well being of the Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawda is shortly deteriorating, after he handed the seventieth day of his starvation strike earlier this week.
Awawda, 40, is protesting his continued detention in Israeli prisons with out trial or cost.
The daddy of 4 was arrested by Israeli forces from his dwelling within the village of Ithna, south of Hebron metropolis within the occupied West Financial institution, in December 2021.
Like 530 different Palestinians presently held underneath such orders, Awawda was positioned in administrative detention. The coverage permits Israeli authorities to imprison Palestinians indefinitely, based mostly on “secret info” not accessible to the prisoner or their lawyer.
“Khalil underwent this starvation strike in opposition to a public Palestinian difficulty – administrative detention – which is a sword on the necks of all of the Palestinian individuals,” his spouse, Dalal, instructed Al Jazeera.
“What are rights teams and different organizations ready for? For him to achieve 100 or 140 days like the opposite prisoners? I name on all these establishments to intervene to save lots of the lifetime of Khalil earlier than, God forbid, one thing occurs to him.”
Israeli authorities transferred Awawda final Wednesday to an Israeli civilian hospital earlier than he was returned to Ramle (Ramla) jail clinic the place he’s presently being held.
Awawda’s lawyer Ahlam Haddad, who visited him on Sunday, mentioned in a press release that he’s affected by “fatigue and extreme collapse” in addition to “heavy ache in all components of his physique”. She famous he now strikes on a wheelchair and can’t get up or see clearly.
Awawda additionally instructed his lawyer that jail authorities are conditioning his switch to an Israeli hospital on his settlement to take dietary supplements, which he’s refusing – dwelling solely on water.
Awawda’s spouse mentioned he misplaced 17kg since his starvation strike started on March 3. “I’m very fearful over his life. He’s attending to the stage of extreme hazard.”
Particular person starvation strikes
Awawda and one different Palestinian prisoner, 27-year-old Raed Rayyan, are the newest two in a string of particular person starvation strikes by prisoners in administrative detention since final 12 months in an effort to demand their freedom.
Rayyan, from the village of Beit Duqqu on the outskirts of Jerusalem, is on his thirty fifth day with out meals or drink.
In October 2021, six Palestinian prisoners went on starvation strike, with some lasting over 140 days and risking their lives earlier than Israeli authorities agreed to offer them launch dates. Their instances generated worldwide headlines and calls for his or her launch.
Human rights teams have lengthy condemned Israel’s coverage of administrative detention, used in opposition to 1000’s of Palestinians dwelling underneath army rule within the occupied territories, as illegal, arbitrary and systematic.
In a press release final month, worldwide rights group Amnesty Worldwide mentioned the Israeli authorities’ “widespread and systematic use of arbitrary arrest, administrative detention and torture in opposition to Palestinians kinds a part of the state’s coverage of domination and management over the Palestinian inhabitants.
“These actions quantity to crimes in opposition to humanity of apartheid, imprisonment and torture,” mentioned Amnesty.
Between 2017 and 2021, Israeli authorities issued 5,728 administrative detention orders in opposition to Palestinians within the occupied territories, in accordance with native prisoners’ rights group Addameer.
The numbers of detention orders issued has been on the rise since final 12 months, when widespread Palestinian protests erupted adopted by mass arrests. In 2021, there was a surge of 1,695 orders, Addameer mentioned, in contrast with a bit greater than 1,100 orders in 2020.
Israel says the orders are vital when there’s a “affordable foundation for believing that the safety of the area or public safety” requires it.
Collective court docket boycott
In an escalatory step taken on January 1, all prisoners in administrative detention have refused to indicate up for his or her hearings in a collective boycott of Israel’s army courts and their use of the coverage.
The step contains not attending preliminary hearings to uphold the order, in addition to attraction hearings and later classes on the Supreme Courtroom.
Regardless of the boycott, which has now lasted greater than 130 days, rights teams say they proceed to doc a rise in orders issued.
“There was no progress sadly. Quite the opposite, administrative detention has elevated previously two months. The army courts are persevering with their work, enterprise as regular, with out the presence of the prisoners or their legal professionals,” Sahar Francis, head of Addameer, instructed Al Jazeera.
Francis famous that the intention of the boycott was to kind a collective wrestle to restrict Israel’s use of the follow, to reduce the person starvation strikes going down.
“Sadly, when the prisoners really feel that there isn’t any change or progress, you can not forestall them from pondering of present process a wrestle on a person degree,” she mentioned.
Individually, Palestinian prisoners’ teams have warned of the upcoming hazard to the well being of a number of different prisoners, together with Nasser Abu Hmaid and Ali Hroub, who are suffering from most cancers.
‘With him on this battle’
Again in Ithna, Dalal has solely been permitted to go to her husband as soon as since his arrest, previous to his starvation strike, on February 13. His 4 daughters, the eldest of whom is 9, haven’t seen their father since his arrest.
Awawda, a taxi driver, has spent a complete of 12 years in Israeli prisons for the reason that early 2000s, together with 5 years in administrative detention, break up into two durations.
“Years of a person’s life move with out trial or cost,” mentioned Dalal. “He is aware of that if he doesn’t do that, he’ll find yourself in administrative detention for years.”
Due to his consecutive arrests, he was unable to finish his undergraduate diploma in economics at al-Quds Open College.
“We have now been with Khalil for the reason that first second he determined to endure the starvation strike – we’re with him on this battle to safe his freedom, as a result of that is all unjust.”