[Pnews] Palestinian leaders call for Israel to release prisoner on 80th day of hunger strike

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Oct 13 11:20:16 EDT 2020

leaders call for Israel to release prisoner on 80th day of hunger strike
October 13, 2020

Several Palestinian political figures have raised the alarm over the
deteriorating health of Maher al-Akhras, who entered the 80th day of his
hunger strike on Tuesday in protest against his administrative detention -
imprisonment without charges or trial - by Israel.

On Tuesday, Israel's Supreme Court rejected Akhras's legal petition
for release.

'We are extremely worried about the dangerous deterioration of Akhras’
condition and demand freedom for him'

*- Yousef Jabareen, member of the Joint List*

Knesset member Yousef Jabareen, a member of the Joint List representing
Palestinian citizens of Israel in Israel's parliament, said that the
Supreme Court "has given, again, judicial legitimisation to the occupation
and violation of Palestinians’ rights".

"We are extremely worried about the dangerous deterioration of Akhras’
condition and we demand freedom for him and for all political prisoners,"
Jabareen added in a statement.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh also called for
Akhras's "immediate release".

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum confirmed
<https://www.wattan.net/ar/news/322005.html> in a statement on Monday that
the movement had sent "a strong message" to Israel to release Akhras from

"We are ready for any scenario … we want the freedom and safety of the
prisoner al-Akhras," Barhoum said. "Hamas has a strong presence in the
field and it will participate in any resistance act on the ground so Maher
enjoys freedom."

Israeli rights group B'Tselem described Akhras' health on Tuesday as "on
the verge of death".

Akhras, 49, said last week that he remained determined to pursue his hunger

In a video message
<https://twitter.com/bassamabuzaid5/status/1313487268464779264>from his
hospital bed in Kaplan Medical Centre in Rehovot, Israel, Akhras said the
aim of his hunger strike was “either freedom for my family and my children
or my killing in the name of their false justice”.
Highly controversial policy

Administrative detention was first implemented in Palestine under the
British Mandate and has since been adopted by Israel.

The highly controversial policy, used almost exclusively against
Palestinians, allows for detention without charge or trial for renewable
periods of three to six months, without the possibility of appeal or
knowing what accusations are being levelled against the detained.

Many Palestinian prisoners have resorted to going on hunger strike to
protest against being sentenced to administrative detention.


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According to Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer, 4,400
Palestinians were detained by Israel as of September
<http://www.addameer.org/statistics>, with 350 of them under administrative

Akhras was arrested in July and was hospitalised in Kaplan Medical
Centre in September.

His health was reportedly deteriorating and could lead to “damage” to the
heart, eyes and ears, especially after he refused to take supplements
offered by Israeli doctors, Qadri Abu Bakr <https://qudsn.net/post/179403>,
the head of the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s (PLO) Committee of
Prisoners' and Former Prisoners' Affairs, said last week.

Born in 1971 in the village of Salileh in the northern occupied West
Bank, Akhras, a father of six, has been imprisoned by Israeli authorities
at least five times since he was 18 for at least five years in total.

He was detained for seven months in 1989, for two years starting in 2004,
16 months starting in 2009, 11 months in 2018 and most recently in July.
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