[Pnews] As Bilal Kayid’s health worsens, Palestinian leader calls for ‘day of rage’

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Aug 16 12:44:14 EDT 2016


*As Bilal Kayid’s health worsens, Palestinian leader calls for ‘day of 
rage’*

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 
<http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=771568>.

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 
wrongdoing.

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 
authorities.

-- 
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863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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