Israeli left-wing activists lift a placard bearing the picture of Palestinian administrative detainee Maher al-Akhras during a demonstration calling for his release after his health has deteriorated while on hunger strike for 77 days, in front of Kaplan medical center where he is in Israeli custody, in the central city of Rehovot
Israeli left-wing activists lift a placard bearing the picture of Maher al-Akhras during a demonstration calling for his release in front of Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot
Photo: AFP
Israeli left-wing activists call for Maher al-Akhras' release outside the Israeli hospital where he is being treated

Palestinian hunger-striker 'close to death,' Israeli rights group says

Maher al-Akhras has been held in administrative detention for more than 70 days since his arrest over suspected ties with Islamic Jihad terror group; 32 Palestinian prisoners at Ofer Prison begin hunger strike in solidarity

AFP |
Published: 10.13.20 , 16:52
A Palestinian man on hunger strike for nearly 80 days since his arrest by Israel in late July is "on the verge of death", Israeli rights group B'Tselem said Monday.
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  • Maher al-Akhras, 49, was arrested near Nablus and placed in administrative detention, a policy that Israel uses to hold suspected terrorists without charge.
    Israeli left-wing activists lift a placard bearing the picture of Palestinian administrative detainee Maher al-Akhras during a demonstration calling for his release after his health has deteriorated while on hunger strike for 77 days, in front of Kaplan medical center where he is in Israeli custody, in the central city of Rehovot Israeli left-wing activists lift a placard bearing the picture of Palestinian administrative detainee Maher al-Akhras during a demonstration calling for his release after his health has deteriorated while on hunger strike for 77 days, in front of Kaplan medical center where he is in Israeli custody, in the central city of Rehovot
    Israeli left-wing activists call for Maher al-Akhras' release outside the Israeli hospital where he is being treated
    (Photo: AFP)
    The married father of six launched his strike to protest the policy.
    He has been arrested several times previously by Israel, which accuses him of having ties to the Islamic Jihad terrorist group.
    At the Ofer Prison in the West Bank, 32 Palestinian prisoners have begun a hunger strike in solidarity with al-Akhras.
    The 32 security prisoners were “punished immediately,” Israel Prison Service said.
    “They were transferred into isolation and placed in empty cells without any equipment,” the official prison body added.
    כלא עופרכלא עופר
    Ofer Prison in the West Bank
    (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
    On Monday, some 40 people held a rally in the West Bank city of Ramallah to support him.
    "Our people will not let Maher al-Akhras down," said Khader Adnan, one of those taking part in the rally, and who has himself carried out a several hunger strikes in Israeli captivity.
    Adnan called on the international community and Palestinian leaders to pressure Israel over the case.
    "Do more over the coming hours," he said. "We are in the critical stage."
    Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh demanded Akhras' "immediate release," according to a statement on the official Wafa news agency.
    Demonstrators hold pictures of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras, who is held by Israel, during a rally to show solidarity with Al-Akhras, in Gaza City Demonstrators hold pictures of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras, who is held by Israel, during a rally to show solidarity with Al-Akhras, in Gaza City
    Palestinians carry pictures of Maher Al-Akhras during a solidarity rally in Gaza City
    (Photo: Reuters)
    Akhras was transferred in early September to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot in central Israel.
    His lawyers have appealed on multiple occasions to the Supreme Court for his release, including at a hearing on Monday.
    The justices deferred a ruling on Monday's request, saying the case remained under review, according to a summary of the hearing seen by AFP.
    AFP made repeated efforts to contact his legal team on Monday.
    Israel's administrative detention system, inherited from the British mandate, allows the internment of prisoners for renewable periods of up to six months each, without bringing charges.
    Israeli left-wing activists lift placards during a demonstration calling for the release of Palestinian administrative detainees, including Maher al-Akhras who's health has deteriorated while on hunger strike for 77 days, in front of Kaplan medical center where he is in Israeli custody in the central city of Rehovot Israeli left-wing activists lift placards during a demonstration calling for the release of Palestinian administrative detainees, including Maher al-Akhras who's health has deteriorated while on hunger strike for 77 days, in front of Kaplan medical center where he is in Israeli custody in the central city of Rehovot
    Israeli left-wing activists call for Maher al-Akhras' release outside the Israeli hospital where he is being treated
    (Photo: AFP)
    Israel says the procedure allows authorities to hold suspects and prevent attacks while continuing to gather evidence, but critics and rights groups say the system is abused.
    Around 355 Palestinians were being held under administrative detention orders as of August, including two minors, according to B'Tselem.

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