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Health of hunger striking Palestinian prisoner deteriorates to ‘life-threatening’

Palestinian Dalal Awawdeh poses with a poster of her husband Khalil Awawdeh, who is a prisoner in Israel, at the family house, in the West Bank village of Idna, Hebron, Aug. 9, 2022. (Nasser Nasser/AP)
Palestinian Dalal Awawdeh poses with a poster of her husband Khalil Awawdeh, who is a prisoner in Israel, at the family house, in the West Bank village of Idna, Hebron, Aug. 9, 2022. (Nasser Nasser/AP)

A Palestinian prisoner on a protracted hunger strike was moved today from an Israeli jail to a hospital because of his worsening condition, the prisoner’s wife says.

Khalil Awawdeh has refused food for just over 160 days in a bid to draw attention to his detention by Israel without trial or charge. His case was thrust into the spotlight after a flare-up of violence last weekend between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, which demanded that he be released as part of a ceasefire that ended the fighting.

A senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official warned Israel against “playing with Awawdeh’s life,” the Ynet website reports

“Israel will bear full responsibility if he dies,” said the PIJ official, who was not identified in the report.

The 40-year-old father of four was arrested by Israel in December and accused of being a member of a terror group, a charge Awawdeh’s lawyer said he denies. Recently, he has been using a wheelchair and was showing memory loss and speech difficulties, according to his lawyer, Ahlam Haddad.

Dalal Awawdeh, Khalil’s wife, said his condition had deteriorated, prompting Israeli authorities to move him to a hospital. The Palestinian Prisoners Club, which represents former and current prisoners, confirmed that Awawdeh’s condition had worsened.

“He is in a real life-threatening situation,” said Qadura Fares, the head of the organization. “He could die at any moment.”

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