[Pnews] As Bilal Kayid’s health worsens, Palestinian leader calls for ‘day of rage’
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 16 12:44:14 EDT 2016
*As Bilal Kayid’s health worsens, Palestinian leader calls for ‘day of
Aug. 16, 2016
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) - http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772717
The health of hunger-striking prisoner Bilal Kayid has continued to
deteriorate at a rapid pace, according to the head of the Palestinian
Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, who called for Palestinians to
participate in a “day of rage” in solidarity with hunger-striking
prisoners in a statement released Tuesday.
Qaraqe expressed worry in the statement concerning the health of Kayid,
entering his 63rd day without food, saying after a visit with the hunger
striker that Kayid has “turned into a skeleton.”
He added that Kayid continued to suffer from severe exhaustion,
inability to speak, hear, see, or walk, while also experiencing serious
pain in his stomach, lungs, and kidney. The hunger striker has been held
in the intensive care unit at Israel’s Barzilai hospital, where he has
been handcuffed to his bed
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772650> since his health
deteriorated last month <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772268>.
Qaraqe urged the media and the international community to put Israel
under pressure in order to stop the violations being committed against
Palestinian prisoners, while urging Arab and international intervention
to end the arbitrary detention of Palestinians in Israeli prisons.
He added that Thursday would be declared a “day of rage” in solidarity
with Palestinian prisoners.
Kayid is a prominent member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PFLP). After being sentenced to six months of administrative
detention -- an Israeli policy of internment without charge or trial --
on the day he was expected to be released from a 14-year prison
sentence, he declared an open hunger strike.
PFLP-affiliated prisoners across Israel’s prisons launched solidarity
hunger strikes to support Kayid, with at least 100 Palestinian prisoners
participating as of Monday.
Kayid is one of the most high-profile hunger strikers since Palestinian
journalist Muhammad al-Qiq came near death during a 94-day hunger strike
before he was finally released in May
Other Palestinian prisoners also joined the strike in protest of being
placed in administrative detention: Muhammad and Mahmoud Balboul
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772486> have been on hunger
strike since July 4 and 1 respectively; prominent Palestinian journalist
Omar Nazzal declared his strike on August 4; while Ayyad al-Hreimi and
Malik al-Qadi have also been on hunger strike in protest of being held
without charge or trial.
Israel’s policy of administrative detention, almost exclusively used
against Palestinians, has been widely criticized by rights group which
have accused Israel of using the policy to erode Palestinian political
and social life by detaining scores of Palestinians without proof of
On Tuesday, four more Palestinian prisoners announced open hunger
strikes from four different Israeli prisons in solidarity with the
hunger strikers held in administrative detention and in protest against
recent decisions to place restrictions on family visits
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772413> and to ban the Ma’an TV
channel <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772422> from playing
inside Israeli prisons.
Prisoner Walid Masalmeh is also on hunger strike in protest of being
held in solitary confinement.
The large-scale solidarity movement among prisoners has resulted in an
equally massive crackdown on mostly PFLP prisoners by the Israel Prison
Service (IPS), which has conducted multiple raids
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772399>, cell block closures,
confiscations of personal property, and transfers of detainees in
attempts to quell the strikes.
Israeli authorities have also blocked hunger-striking prisoners from
visiting their lawyers <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772615>,
claiming their health conditions could not permit the visitations.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities have recently banned at least 54
Palestinians <http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772642> from
family visitations. IPS has repeatedly denied family visitation for
scores of Palestinian prisoners held in in prisons across the state of
Israel, and some families have reported being held at Israeli
checkpoints and forced to return to their homes in the occupied
territory, despite being granted visitation permits.
The incidents came amidwidespread protests
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772534> over the International
Committee of the Red Cross' (ICRC) recent cuts to family visitations,
reducing arranged visits for male Palestinian prisoners from two days a
month to just one.
However, the Palestinian Authority announced its plans last week
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=772604> to cover the financial
expenses of the second family visit for Palestinian prisoners, while
ICRC would still be responsible for arranging the visits with Israeli
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