Israel moves Islamic Jihad prisoner to hospital amid hunger strike

Khalil Awawdeh surpasses 160 days without eating in protest of his administrative detention without trial; lawyer says he has been using a wheelchair, showing signs of brain damage; Islamic Jihad threatens retaliation if prisoner dies

Ynet, Associated Press|
A suspected Islamic Jihad member imprisoned in Israel was rushed to a hospital on Thursday after his health condition has worsened in the wake of the Palestinian's ongoing hunger strike.
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  • Khalil Awawdeh was transferred to Shamir Medical Center after he was taken to the emergency room Tuesday, but refused treatment as part of the strike. The 40-year-old father of four is said to be protesting his administrative detention without trial.
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    חליל עוואודה
    חליל עוואודה
    Khalil Awawdeh
    He was arrested by Israel in December, accused of being a member of a militant group, a charge Awawdeh's lawyer said he denies.
    His lawyer, Ahlam Haddad, said he has recently began using a wheelchair, and was showing signs of memory loss and speech difficulties.
    Earlier this week, the Islamic Jihad demanded Awawdeh be released from prison during ceasefire negotiations following a three-day flare-up with Israel in Gaza. Israel denied the request during the Egypt-brokered talks.
    The terror group's spokesman Daoud Shihab said Thursday that if Awawdeh dies, Israel "will bear full responsibility."
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    בית חולים אסף הרופא
    בית חולים אסף הרופא
    Assaf Harofeh Medical Center
    (Photo: Shaul Golan)
    The Palestinian Prisoners Club, which represents former and current inmates, confirmed that Awawdeh's condition had worsened. They said Awawdeh halted his strike two months, when he allegedly received a promise of a release, but resumed it at the beginning of the month, having allegedly suspected be was being lied to.
    "He is in a life-threatening situation," said Qadura Fares, the head of the organization. "He could die at any moment."
    Awawdeh has been on a hunger strike for roughly 160 days, weighting 34-36 kilos. His wife, Dalal Awawadeh, said that he has spent a total of six years in administrative detention and she has only been allowed to visit him once.
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