Concerns over condition of Palestinian prisoner after 140 days on hunger strike

A Palestinian prisoner in Israel has been on a hunger strike for nearly 140 days, according to local media. On Saturday, the radical Islamic Jihad movement warned of an “explosion” and threatened an end to the ceasefire in the Gaza Strip if Israel does not release the man. The Palestinian Authority has already asked Israel for his “immediate release”.

It concerns 40-year-old Hisham Abu Hawash. An employee of the Israeli NGO Doctors for Human Rights was able to examine the man in his hospital bed, he said. According to the organization, he struggles with a low potassium level and cardiac arrhythmias, which would put him in “immediate danger to life”. A spokesman for Assaf Harofeh Hospital near Tel Aviv confirmed the Palestinian’s condition is serious, but denied that his life was in danger.

Abu Hawash is from the Palestinian city of Dura, near Hebron, in the south of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. According to Israeli media, he has been in administrative detention since October 2020, keeping him imprisoned, although he has never been formally charged with a crime until now.

The system of administrative detention, which has been denounced by human rights organizations for some time, is usually applied to terrorist suspects. When The Times of Israel asked, Shin Bet’s security agency declined to comment.

According to Palestinian media, Abu Hawash has ties to Islamic Jihad.

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