A Palestinian human rights organization has expressed deep concern over the lives of two prisoners who have been on hunger strike for 63 consecutive days in Israeli jails to protest harsh prison conditions.
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association said in a statement on Tuesday that it “expresses utmost concern for the lives of Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh, currently on their 63rd full day of hunger strike in protest of their administrative detention.”
More than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners have gone on hunger strike in Israeli prisons to protest against Israel’s administrative detention rules, use of solitary confinement, denial of family visits, and maltreatment of sick detainees, according to the rights group.
The statement said an independent doctor from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-Israel) determined on Monday that Diab “is at immediate risk of death,” and that both he and Halahleh “must be transferred immediately to a civilian hospital in order to receive adequate medical attention.”
Halahleh has also reported being abused by an Israeli Prison Service (IPS)’s doctor two days ago while prison guards entered their cells and carried out violent searches.
Addameer said it “condemns the IPS’ blatant violation of medical ethics,” holding the Israeli authorities responsible for the inmates conditions.
The human rights organization called on the international community to demand that both prisoners be immediately admitted to civilian hospitals, without further transfers, and have unconditional access to independent doctors and their lawyers.
It also urged the European Union, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross “to take immediate action and intervene with Israel in the strongest manner possible to save Bilal and Thaer’s lives before it is too late.”
Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Meshaal said Sunday the case of the ongoing mass hunger strike will be referred to the UN. Meshaal said he had agreed on the issue with the acting Palestinian Authority chief, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Arab League Secretary General, Nabil al-Arabi.
According to prisoners’ advocacy groups, at least five thousand Palestinian prisoners are held in Israeli jails.