Palestinian detainee ends 113-day hunger strike

Palestinian detainee ends 113-day hunger strike after Israel agrees release deal
2 min read
West Bank
11 November, 2021
After 113 days without food, 24-year-old Miqdad Qawasmeh is now suffering from vision problems, constant pain, low heart rate and inability to move, according to human rights groups.
Twenty-four-year-old Miqdad Qawasmeh began his hunger strike in July. [Getty]

A Palestinian man detained by Israel without charge has ended a 113-day  huger strike after Israeli authorities agreed to release him at the end of his current administrative detention order in February, the Palestinian Prisoners Media Office - Asra Media -confirmed on Thursday.

Miqdad Qawasmeh is a 24-year-old university student who has spent around four years in Israeli prisons on separate occasions since 2015. Last January, he was arrested again and detained without charges based on ‘secret information’, under the Israel's 'administrative detention' system.

In late July, Qawasmeh began an open hunger strike to protest the renewal of his six-month detention order and to demand his release. He was then transferred to the Israeli prison clinic in Ramleh, then to the Israeli Kaplan hospital following a serious health deterioration.

Qawasmeh was reported to suffer vision problems, constant pains, low heart rate and inability to move. In late October, his mother reported that Israeli medics forcibly injected nutrients into his body through IV drip.

A painful experience

Omar Qawasmeh, Miqdad’s father, told a local radio on Thursday that “the family was overwhelmed with joy” upon receiving news of Miqdad’s deal to end his hunger strike that “was close to ending his life”.

Qawasmeh’s father added: “This has been a very painful experience. We hope that the hunger strikes of the rest of detainees will reach their end as well”.

Five other detainees are currently on hunger strike protesting their administrative detentions. The longest-running is that of 32-year-old Kayed Fasfus, who has gone 120 days without food. Meanwhile, 34-year-old Alaa Al-Aaraj is on his 95th day of hunger strike, 39-year-old Hisham Abu Hawash has done 87 days, 28-year-old Ayyad Hraimi is on his 54th day and 45-year-old Louay Al Ashqar has not eaten for 31 days.

According to Palestinian human rights groups, around 500 Palestinians are currently held under Israeli administrative detention.