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Palestinian prisoner suspends hunger strike

Dec. 25, 2016 5:29 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 25, 2016 7:13 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- After refusing food for 32 days, Palestinian prisoner Kifah Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Hatab suspended his hunger strike Saturday night after Israeli authorities responded to some of his demands.

Hatab’s sister told Sawt Asra (Voice of the Prisoners) radio station that her 52-year-old brother would resume his hunger strike if the Israeli Prison Service does not commit to its promises, without provided further details on the deal.

Hatab, from the northern occupied West Bank city of Tulkarem, is currently being held in Nafha prison in southern Israel.

He was detained on July 4, 2003 and was handed two life prison sentences.

Hatab has been denied family visitation for two years for refusing to wear the prison’s uniform during visits.

The suspension of Hatab’s hunger strike follows a number of high profile hunger strikes undertaken by Palestinian prisoners being held under Israel’s widely condemned policy of administrative detention -- internment without trial charge under undisclosed evidence.

The 90--day hunger strikes launched by Ahmad Abu Farah and Anas Shadid left them both in critical conditions, with Israel agreeing to eventually release them at the eleventh hour, as the Israeli Supreme Court also mulled force feeding the two -- a practice widely regarded as a form of torture under medical ethics accepted by both the international community and Israeli doctors.

Israeli authorities also waited until the last minute to agree to release other hunger strikers who were nearing death over the past year, as was the case with the Balboul brothers who went without food for 77 and 79 days, Malik al-Qadi for 68 days, Bilal Kayid for 71 days, and Muhammad al-Qiq for 94 days.
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