Israeli Officials Transfer al-Akhras, on 89th Day of Hunger Strike, Back to Prison

Palestinian prisoner Maher al-Akhras, whose health is rapidly deteriorating toward organ failure after 89 days of hunger strike, was transferred Friday by Israeli authorities from the Kaplan Hospital, where he has been for the past month, back to the notorious Ramle Prison Clinic.

The transfer came after an Israeli court canceled a September 23rd decision by Israeli authorities to freeze al-Akhras’ sentence. Instead, Israeli court authorities ordered that his sentence be extended — despite his precarious and deteriorating medical condition.

al-Akhras had never been informed of the reason for his detention, and has no legal rights to appeal being held without charges. As a Palestinian living under Israeli military occupation, he has no legal standing in Israeli court — and this is the case with thousands of other Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli detention.

For this reason, al-Akhras decided to begin an open-ended hunger strike 89 days ago. He has continued to drink only water, even while hospitalized in a severely weakened state.

According to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Israeli occupation authorities arrived at the hospital without warning, and brutally transferred the medically-fragile and extremely vulnerable al-Akhras from Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot to the infamous Ramle Prison clinic.

Ramle has been cited on many occasions for inhumane and cruel treatment of prisoners.

The transfer of al-Akhras came just a day after the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) issued a statement that the deteriorating health of al-Akhras had entered a “critical phase”, and that he could be close to death.

Al-Akhras is a father of six children who was kidnapped by Israeli authorities earlier this year from his home in Jenin, in the northern West Bank. He said he has no idea what he is being accused of, and Israeli authorities refuse to tell him, because of ‘security reasons’.

In July, he began an open-ended hunger strike, which he has said that he will only end upon his release from prison or his death.

(Source / 24.10.2020)

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