Israel suspends detention of Palestinian prisoner who spent 133 days on hunger strike

Israel suspends detention of Palestinian prisoner who spent 133 days on hunger strike
2 min read
27 December, 2021
Israel has suspended the 'administrative detention' of a hospitalised Palestinian political prisoner who is now in a critical condition after spending 133 days on hunger strike
A Palestinian woman holds a placard calling for Abu Hawash's release [Getty]

Israeli authorities have suspended an administrative detention order against Hisham Abu Hawash, a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for 133 consecutive days.

In recent days, Abu Hawash’s condition has rapidly deteriorated. Yesterday evening, the father of five, who comes from the village of Dura in the southern West Bank, was transferred from Israel's Ramleh Prison to the Assaf Harofeh hospital south of Tel Aviv. 

Photos and videos of the detainee in his hospital bed – where he appears severely underweight and malnourished and has difficultly moving or speaking – have circulated on social media.

Jawwad Boulos, a lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said on Facebook on Sunday evening that the suspension of the order "does not mean ending [Abu Hawash's] administrative detention, but rather clears the Israeli occupation prison authorities, and the Shin Bet, of any responsibility for the life and destiny of the detainee.”

“He is now an ‘unofficial’ detainee in hospital and will remain guarded there as he was in prison”, he added,

Abu Hawash’s family will be able to visit him according to hospital rules, Boulos’s statement said.

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Abu Hawash, 40, was first arrested on 27 October 2020 and placed under a six-month administrative detention order. Since then, his administrative detention order has been arbitrarily renewed twice by the Israeli occupation authorities, most recently on 25 October 2021.

He has been on hunger strike since 17 August 2021. 

Under the administrative detention regime, Israeli military authorities can issue orders to detain Palestinians from the West Bank for up to 6 months. Each detention order can be renewed indefinitely.  

On 21 December, Palestinian rights groups Al-Haq & Addameer submitted an appeal to the UN for urgent intervention to save Hisham Abu Hawash's life.

Abu Hawash is one of six Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have gone on long-term hunger strike in recent months  to protest their administrative detention without charge or trial.

There are 4,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, about 500 of whom are held under administrative detention orders, without charge or trial, according to Addameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association.