RAMALLAH, After 83 days of hunger strike, Palestinian administrative detainee in Israel, Maher al-Akhras, 49, is said to be in critical health condition, according to prisoners’ advocacy groups.
Al-Akhras, from Silat al-Dahr village south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, was detained in July and slammed with four-month administrative detention without charge or trial and based on secret evidence not known even to his lawyer.
Immediately after his detention, al-Akhras went on an open-ended hunger strike to protest his administrative detention, which could be renewed for indefinite periods of time and which has been deemed illegal by international law, demanding his release from prison to be with his wife and six children again.
Several legal attempts by his lawyers to secure his freedom, including going to the Israeli Supreme Court, have failed.
Today, according to the advocacy groups, al-Akhras is kept at an Israeli hospital following a serious deterioration in his health. He is reported suffering from severe fatigue, pain in the joints, abdomen and stomach, headaches, loss of weight, loss of balance and inability to walk. His hearing and speech seem to have been affected as well by his long fast.
Concern is high that the fast could eventually affect his vital organs such as kidneys, liver and even heart, which could threaten his life and he could die at any moment.
Al-Akhras has told the groups from his sickbed that he will not end his hunger strike short of securing his release.
Several Palestinians held in administrative detention have previously secured their release only after going on a long hunger strike.
Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency (WAFA)