Palestinian Hunger-Striker’s Health Worsens as Israel Moves Another to Solitary

The health of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Sami al-Janazreh has begun to seriously deteriorate after 36 days without food, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, The Palestine Prisoners’ Center for Studies reported on Thursday that Israeli prisons services moved prisoner Adib Muhammad Jamal Mafarjeh into solitary confinement to pressure him to end his open-ended hunger strike.

PPS reported that al-Janazreh, 43, from the al-Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron, had lost 16 kilograms and was suffering from very low blood pressure.

The organization added that an appeal was held on Thursday at the Ofer prison court over al-Janazreh’s ongoing administrative detention — internment without charge or trial — since Nov. 15, but that no decision had been made yet.

The Palestine Prisoners’ Center for Studies said that Mafarjeh, 28, had announced his open hunger strike on April 3 to protest his administrative detention in the Israeli Ktziot prison in the Negev desert.

Mafarjeh, a resident of the central occupied West Bank village of Beit Liqya, has demanded that Israeli authorities stop renewing his detention and release him after 16 months of incarceration.

Palestine Prisoners’ Center for Studies spokesman Riyad al-Ashqar said Mafarjeh was detained on Dec. 10, 2014, only nine months after having previously been released from prison, where he had been detained for several years.

Administrative detention allows for internment without trial for six-month intervals that can be renewed indefinitely.

Israeli officials claim it is an essential tool in preventing attacks and protecting sensitive intelligence because it allows authorities to keep evidence secret, but the practice has been strongly criticized by the international community as well as activists.

They say international law allows for such detention only under extreme circumstances, whereas Israel uses it as a punitive measure on a routine basis to circumvent the justice system or as a crutch to avoid trial.

Al-Ashqar said solitary confinement was used by Israel against hunger-striking prisoners as a way to pressure them into ending their strike.
He called upon Palestinian citizens and institutions to come out in support of prisoners.

Rights groups have long criticized Israel for mistreatment of Palestinians in Israeli jails, as well as the illegality of their imprisonment. Addameer has documented extensive use of both solitary confinement and isolation by Israel’s prison service, under circumstances the group says are violations of international law.

Many Palestinian prisoners also face torture, denial of family visitation, and medical negligence.

(MAAN)

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