RAMALLAH (Dispatches) – Palestinian detainee Maher al-Akhras has been on hunger strike for 77 days as of Sunday in protest against his detention without a charge or trial and his health condition is worrying, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) says.
The PPS said al-Akhras was facing greater health hazards after several cases of coronavirus were discovered at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, where he is being hospitalized for a severe deterioration of his health as a result of his 77-day hunger strike.
According to the Society, al-Akhras’s lawyer has filed a request to the Zionist regime’s supreme court demanding his client’s immediate release, after several other requests by the lawyer were rejected by the court over the past few weeks.
Al-Akhras, 49, began his hunger strike after he was arrested and placed in so-called administrative detention in late July. Administrative detention is an Israeli policy that allows it to detain Palestinians without filing charges, sometimes for months at a time with multiple extensions.
A number of Palestinians prisoners have threatened to go on a hunger strike in support of al-Akhras.
They set a deadline for the Zionist regime’s prisons authority to take a positive step in al-Akhras case, according to Abdul–Nasser Farwana, head of the Studies and Documentation Department at the Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Authority.
He said hunger strike is not an objective of Palestinian prisoners but a means to confront the Zionist regime that keeps violating their rights.
Al-Akhras’s wife, Taghreed, told AP earlier this week that her husband has survived on water alone while he demands his release. Speaking from his room at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot, she said that al-Akhras has been hospitalized since September 6 and that he was too weak to speak or get up to go to the toilet.
"He lost half of his weight. He suffers spasms,” she said. "He has a constant severe headache and constant buzzing in the ears, fatigue, with no energy to talk to me.”
Palestinians on Saturday called on international human rights groups to urgently put pressure on the Zionist regime to save the life of Akhras.
The call came in a sit-in organized by the Islamic Jihad Movement in the cities of Gaza and Rafah in solidarity with al-Akhras.
In a speech during the Gaza pause, Khaled Al-Batsh, the leader of the movement, said: "We warn the occupation [the Zionist regime] against harming the life of the detainee al-Akhras and we hold them [the reigme] responsible if something unfortunate happens to him.”
Some 5,000 Palestinian political detainees are in the occupying regime’s jails, including 43 women, 180 children, and 430 detainees under the so-called administrative detention.