‘Israel’ rejects appeal for release of Khalil Awawdeh

Khalil Awawdeh, married and a father of four girl children, has previously spent a total of 12 years in Israeli prisons for resisting the occupation

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- An Israeli military court rejected on Monday an appeal for release of Palestinian detainee Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on a hunger strike for 167 days in protest against Israel’s administrative detention without charge or trial.

Awawdeh’s lawyer Ahlam Haddad confirmed yesterday that the military court rejected his appeal for release.

On March 3, the 40-year-old father of four started his open-ended hunger strike in protest against his administrative detention without a charge or trial by Israeli occupation authorities who arrested him on December 27, 2021, accusing him of being a member of an armed group.

He was held at the Ofer prison, in western Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, and he previously spent a total of 12 years in Israeli prisons for resisting the occupation, including five years of administrative detention. He was released on June 30, 2016.

According to his family, Awawdeh has not eaten during the open-ended hunger strike, except for a 10-day period in which he received vitamin injections.

On Thursday, 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 which was held yesterday to look into his release.

Dr. Lina Qasem-Hassan, of Physicians for Human Rights Israel, visited him at the Assaf Harofeh Hospital where he was transferred on Thursday after his condition worsened. She said he weighed 42kg (around 90 pounds), was handcuffed to a bed and surrounded by guards.

“He suffers from severe neurological symptoms and cognitive impairment, which might be irreversible,” the rights group said in a statement. “His life is in immediate danger.”

The Palestinian Commission of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs confirmed on Sunday that the health condition of Awawdeh is getting worse day by day, noting also that he has lost more than half of his weight and suffers from weakness, acute joint pain, headaches, severe dizziness, and blurred vision to the extent that he could not recognize his wife, Dalal, who visited him at the hospital last week.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS) said Awawdeh’s condition had worsened. “He is in a real life-threatening situation,” said Qadura Fares, the head of the PPS. “He could die at any moment.”

Between August 5-7, Israeli occupation launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip, killing 49 Palestinian civilians, including 17 children and 4 women, and injuring over 360 others.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) movement demanded Awawdeh’s release along with Bassam al-Saadi, a senior PIJ commander who was arrested on August 1 in the occupied West Bank, as part of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire ending the three days of bombardment. The group did not identify Awawdeh as a member, but it demanded his release in a bid to draw attention to his detention by Israeli occupation without trial or charge.

(Source / 17.08.2022)

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