IDNA, West Bank
A Palestinian hunger striker who has refused food for the late 160 days and is wasting away in an Israeli jailhouse hospital has suddenly been thrust into the centre of efforts to firm up a Gaza cease-fire.
Khalil Awawdeh is in the limelight because the Islamic Jihad group sought his release as part of Egyptian- brokered addresses that ended three days of fighting between the Gaza- grounded zealots and Israel over the weekend.
In an attempt to win the zealots ’ agreement to halt their fire, Egypt had assured them it would also try to win the release of their West Bank leader and of Awawdeh.
The 40- time-old father of four girls, haggard and weakened, is protesting his detention without charge or trial by Israel. He’s one of the dozens of captures who have offered hunger strikes in Israeli incarcerations.
Prospects for his release are uncertain. But his case highlights the plight of hundreds of Palestinians who are being held by Israel under a system that critics say denies them the right to due process.
Israel can hold so-called executive detainees indefinitely, without showing them the alleged substantiation against them or taking them to trial in military courts. numerous turn to hunger strikes as a last expedient to bring attention to their situation.
Awawdeh’s counsel, Ahlam Haddad, said her customer is “ moving between life and death ” and that it makes no sense to keep him in detention. “ He looks like a pile of bones, ” she said. “ How important of trouble can he be? ”
His family says he has not eaten for 160 days, and has only been drinking water, except for a 10- day period when he also entered vitamin injections.
Israel is presently holding some,400 Palestinians, including zealots who have carried out deadly attacks, as well as people arrested at demurrers or for throwing monuments. Around 670 Palestinians are now being held in executive detention, a number that jumped in March as Israel began near-nocturnal arrest raids in the West Bank following a torrent of deadly attacks against Israelis.
Awawdeh hails from a small city in the southern West Bank and worked as a motorist. In his current condition, he uses a wheelchair and is showing memory loss and speech difficulties.
Haddad said he was arrested in December, and indicted by Israel for being a member of a militant group, a charge she said he denies.
Dawood Shihab, an Islamic Jihad functionary, said the group demanded his release as part of the armistice addresses because it supported his struggle for freedom, not because he’s a member.
“ This is a matter that continues to be a disgrace to all of humanity, ” he said, pertaining to the hunger strike and detention.
Haddad said she doesn’t know why Islamic Jihad chose to include him in the check-fire deal, along with an elderly West Bank commander Israel arrested last week. She’s presently appealing his detention in court.
The arrest of the commander had sparked the weekend fighting, with Israeli launching what it said were preemptive airstrikes at Gaza and Islamic Jihad firing hundreds of rockets at Israel. Dozens of Palestinians were killed during the fighting.
The Israeli Shin Bet security agency didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Israel says executive detention is demanded to help attacks or to keep dangerous suspects locked up without participating in substantiation that could jeopardize precious intelligence sources.
Israel says it provides due process and largely imprisons those who hang its security, though a small number are held for petty crimes.
Palestinians and mortal rights groups say the system is designed to quash opposition and maintain endless control over millions of Palestinians while denying them introductory rights.
captures like Awawdeh has looked to hunger strikes as their only means to protest their detentions. Dozens of captures have staved off food for weeks to draw attention to their detention without trial or charges.
“ The tools detainees have to challenge the unjustness of detention are veritably many. Hunger strikes are an exceptional measure, a tool for the weakest people who have no other way of championing for themselves, ” said Jessica Montell, the director of Hamoked, an Israeli mortal rights group, who said Israel had turned its system of incarceration of Palestinians into an “ assembly line. ”
Lengthy hunger strikes draw transnational attention and aggrandize demurrers in the engaged Palestinian homes, putting pressure on Israel to meet the captures ’ demands. Amid that pressure, Israel has at times agreed to hunger strikers ’ demands.
As hunger strikers ’ health deteriorates, they’re transferred to Israeli hospitals under guard. They drink water, and croakers encourage them to take vitamins, but numerous refuse.
Haddad said she’s hoping to move a judge that Awawdeh’s condition is so life-hanging that he must be released. She said a captivity croaker has so far disputed that opinion.
No Palestinian in Israeli detention has failed as a result of hunger strikes, but croakers say dragged vitamin insufficiency can beget endless brain damage.
In Awawdeh’s home in the enthralled West Bank city of Idna, his family was anxiously following the rearmost check-fire developments, now that his fate was suddenly linked to transnational tactfulness.
Awawdeh’s woman Dalal told The Associated Press that her hubby’s release as a result of similar sweats would be “ a palm for the entire Palestinian cause. ”