Palestinian hunger striker refuses medical treatment

A Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for more than a month in protest at his administrative detention by Israel is now refusing to undergo medical treatment.

“Bilal Kayed has stated that he would rather die of starvation than give up his rights and those of his fellow prisoners,” Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer said in a statement on Monday.

The statement added that 35-year-old Kayed, a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), is handcuffed to his bed at Israel’s Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, and is wearing a gadget that sounds an alarm in case he makes a sudden movement.

Addameer further said that more than 100 Palestinian prisoners have gone on hunger strike since mid-July in solidarity with Kayed, stressing that the Palestinian hunger striker is demanding to be transferred back to prison.

Kayed was arrested in 2002 and spent 14 and a half years in Israeli jails. On the day he was scheduled to be released on June 13, Tel Aviv decided to expand his imprisonment term for another six months under the administrative detention policy.

The Palestinian man then went on a hunger strike to express his opposition. His hunger strike is now in its 48th day.

There are reportedly more than 6,500 Palestinians held at Israeli jails, hundreds of them in administrative detention, which is a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept incarcerated without trial or charge. The period of detention can then be extended an infinite number of times.

Some prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years without any charges brought against them.


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