ICRC Expresses Concern over Health of Hunger Strikers

Families demanding freedom for Malek al-Qadi, Muhammad and Mahmoud Balboul , who had then been on hunger strike for more than 60 days. (Photo: via Ma'an, file)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a statement on Thursday, expressing the organization’s concern with the severely deteriorating health of three hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners currently protesting their administrative detention orders.

In the statement, the ICRC addressed the cases of Malek al-Qadi, and brothers, Muhammad and Mahmoud Balboul, who have all been on hunger strike for more than 60 days, and are currently being held in Israeli hospitals.

“At this very critical time, we encourage the patients, their representatives and the competent authorities to find a solution that will avoid any loss of life or irreversible damage to their health,” Dr. Hishal, the ICRC’s doctor who has regularly visited the hunger-striking detainees in hospital, said.

The organization highlighted that its delegates and medical staff have continued to monitor the health conditions of the detainees and their treatment by Israeli prison and medical authorities.

“The ICRC has been in close contact with their families, whom it has kept informed of developments, in accordance with their wishes, and transmitted personal news between them,” the statement said.

Highlighting the gravity of not consuming any food, vitamins, or nourishment except for water, the statement continued: “ICRC staff seek to ensure that all detainees on hunger strike are fully aware of the implications of their decision, and that they are acting on their own initiative and free will.”

The ICRC’s statement came on the same day that the head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, made a statement that Al-Qadi’s current medical state has rendered him the Palestinian hunger striking prisoner in the most critical condition since 2011.


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