Two Palestinian detainees in hospital after hunger strike

Two Palestinians in hospital as hunger strike over Israeli administration detention continues
4 min read
Jerusalem
05 October, 2021
Six Palestinian detainees are on hunger strike to protest their detention without charge by Israeli forces.
Israeli administrative detention orders against Palestinians have increased since last May [Getty-file phot]

A Palestinian detainee on hunger strike was transferred to hospital on Monday, as five other detainees also continue to refuse food in protest at their detention without charge by Israeli authorities.

Kayed Fasfous, a 32-year-old Palestinian, has been on hunger strike for 83 days, protesting his administrative detention by Israeli forces.

He was taken to Israel's Kaplan Hospital after his health deteriorated, the Palestinian Prisoners Club and his family have said, as five other detainees continue their hunger strike. 

"[He is] suffering from severe pain in his stomach and articulations, heart irregularities and throat infection due to the lack of water intake," his brother, Khaled Fasfus, told The New Arab.

Six Palestinians are currently on hunger strike protesting their detention without charge.

A seventh detainee, 61-year-old Amin Shweiki, has been refusing to take insulin for his diabetes over his continued detention.

Khaled Fasfous said his brother, Kayed, went on hunger strike after he discovered his detention order was going to be renewed.

"His current detention has been renewed three times already, and it is his fourth detention," he said.

Fasfus joined 24-year-old detainee Miqdad Qawasmeh, who has been on hunger strike for 75 days and was transferred to Kaplan Hospital earlier in September.

Palestinian human rights group Addameer told The New Arab that the two detainees had been transferred to an Israeli prison clinic in Ramleh before being moved to the hospital.

"But the transfer of Fasfus and Qawasmeh to a civilian hospital indicates that their health condition has deteriorated seriously," they added.

Palestinian administrative detainee Miqdad Al-Qawasme continues his hunger strike for the 70th day demanding an end to his illegal detention without charge or trial by Israeli regime. Miqdad is witnessing a deterioration in his health.

SAVE MIQDAD BEFORE WE LOSE HIM#FreeMiqdad pic.twitter.com/5B6xH3bEfg

— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) September 29, 2021

Ehteram Ghazawneh, head of the documentation unit at Addameer, said their lawyers visited Fasfus last Tuesday and documented his health condition.

"We still don’t know the specific health deterioration that led to his transfer to the Kaplan hospital," Ghazawneh said.

Raed Amer, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, said: "The other detainees on hunger strike risk a similar deterioration that might threaten their lives, especially 34-year-old Alaa Al Aaraj who has been on hunger strike for 57 days."

Amer added that "the Palestinian Authority’s officials have told us that they are making efforts to demand the release of the six detainees, but the Israeli intelligence controls their cases".

Al-Aaraj's wife, Asmaa Quzmar, told The New Arab that her husband "is unable to drink any water, to concentrate or to walk".

She said he went on hunger strike due to the "devastating impact of his repetitive detentions on the family".

Their son, Mohammad, was born when Al-Aaraj was in detention and he only spent five months with his son before he was re-arrested again before spending another 18 months behind bars on continuously renewed detention orders.

"He then was released for 11 months, and then arrested again. He's been detained now for six months," she said.

"Our son is two-and-a-half now and has begun to understand the absence of his father. The first person he called 'daddy' was his grandfather, and Alaa was deeply hurt to see that, which was, as he told his lawyer, the reason that made him go on hunger strike."

According to the Palestinian official news agency WAFA, the Israeli military court at Ofer on Sunday rejected an appeal against Kayed Fasfus's detention, presented by lawyers from the Palestinian Authority's High Commission of Detainees Affairs.

Israel's administrative detention regime allows the arrest of any Palestinian for renewable periods of up to six months, based on secret information provided by Israeli intelligence.

Addameer's Ehetram Ghazawneh indicated that the use of this procedure is being used more and more by Israeli authorities.

"There has been a rise in administrative detention orders since last May, following the wave of protests against Israeli evictions at the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem," he said.

Raed Amer stressed that "Israeli arrests across the West Bank have increased sharply in the past weeks. There are tens of arrests almost on a daily basis".

Palestinian administrative detainee Miqdad Al-Qawasme continues his hunger strike for the 70th day demanding an end to his illegal detention without charge or trial by Israeli regime. Miqdad is witnessing a deterioration in his health.

SAVE MIQDAD BEFORE WE LOSE HIM#FreeMiqdad pic.twitter.com/5B6xH3bEfg

— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) September 29, 2021

Ehteram Ghazawnehr said that "the cases of hunger strikes against administrative detention are in the dozens every year.

"It is a human rights issue, but it is connected to the occupation in general, which makes it also political."

Raed Amer from the prisoners’ club insisted that "detainees who undergo hunger strikes have life-long health effects. The only way to save them is through political, international pressure".