RAMALLAH (Dispatches) – A Palestinian on hunger strike for more than two months while in the Zionist regime’s detention rejoiced at victory Friday after his release and transfer to a hospital in the occupied West Bank.
Ghadanfar Abu Atwan, 28, who was held in the Zionist regime’s prison without charge, told AFP in Ramallah’s Istishari hospital that his hunger strike and subsequent release marked a blow against the regime’s practice of the so-called ‘administrative detention’.
Palestinian Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said in a statement early Friday that she had overseen Atwan’s transfer on Thursday from a hospital to Istishari, slamming the Zionist regime for “serious neglect of the rights of a Palestinian prisoner.”
The International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday that its doctors had visited Atwan while he was held in the occupied territories and described his condition as “critical” following 67 days of hunger strike, raising concern about “irreversible health consequences.”
Medical staff at Istishari told AFP that after admitting Atwan they began vitamin injections and hoped to allow him to eat solid foods within days.
The occupying regime’s domestic spy agency, the Shin Bet, did not respond to requests for comment on the case.
The regime’s media outlets have reported that Atwan was detained over membership of a Palestinian militant group, but that the military had approved his transfer to Ramallah.
The regime’s ‘administrative detention’ policy, inherited from the British mandate of Palestine, allows the internment of prisoners without charge for renewable periods of up to six months each time.
As he received a steady flow of phone calls and visitors in his hospital room, Atwan -- emaciated and appearing jaundiced -- boasted that he “broke the occupation,” a reference to the regime’s military occupation of the West Bank since 1967.
“Everyone in administrative detention should go on hunger strike,” he told AFP, insisting it was an effective tool against an “unjust” practice.
Atwan was lauded in several Palestinian newspapers on Friday, including the Al Quds, which praised his “win over the jailer.”
According to the Israeli anti-occupation civil society group B’Tselem and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club, more than 375 Palestinians are currently held in ‘administrative detention’.