Israel court temporarily freezes detention of Palestine hunger striker Khalil Awawdeh

Khalil Awawdeh (File)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 20, 2022

‘The decision to freeze my administrative detention is not an end to my hunger strike. I will continue the hunger strike until the decision to release comes.’ Khalil Awawda.

An Israeli military court on Friday temporarily suspended the administrative detention of Palestinian hunger-striker Khalil Awawdeh to allow him to receive medical care, as his health is rapidly deteriorating after six months without food, Israeli media reported.

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Ahlam Haddad, Awawdeh’s lawyer, reported Awawdeh saying he would keep his 168-day fast going until he is granted full release.

Israel claims Awawdeh, 40, is a member of a terror group, an allegation he has denied. No formal charges have ever been brought against him.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad demanded his release as part of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire ending the three-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip earlier this month, killing 49 people, including 17 children and four women and injuring 360 others.

However, the Islamic Jihad did not identify Awawdeh as a member of the Palestinian movement.

Earlier this week, an Israeli military court rejected an appeal to free Awawdeh, who has appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court, which is expected to look into the appeal on Sunday.

The Israeli military court, which froze his detention due to the deterioration of his health, said his detention would resume once his condition improves.

Awawdeh, a father of four, is one of several Palestinian prisoners who have gone on prolonged hunger strikes over the years to protest illegal Israeli administrative detention, under which Israel illegally holds prisoners without charge.