Palestinian hunger-striker Issawi “on the verge of death” 15Mar13 March 15, 2013

Al Akhbar     -     14 March 2013

March14_IssawiPalestinian hunger-striker Samer Issawi is on the verge of death according to a statement from his sister Shirine Issawi Thursday, a day after he decided to refuse both liquids and vitamins.

The statement was given to the web magazine Palestine Online.

Palestine’s prisoners’ rights group Addameer had reported Wednesday that Issawi was suffering from severe heart problems, the latest in a series of illnesses Issawi has contracted since the start of his 236 day hunger strike.

Issawi has lost 45 kilograms and his condition is reported to have deteriorated significantly since his hearing on February 21, which ruled that he would be released on March 6. Issawi remains in police custody, and his legs are said to be shackled to his hospital bed.

Addameer also said that Issawi’s doctors summoned his lawyer Jawad Boulos to convince the 33 year old to resume taking liquids.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have slammed Israel’s refusal to grant Issawi bail as a violation of international humanitarian law.

Issawi was first arrested ten years ago on charges of arms possession, and was released in a Hamas-Israel prisoner exchange deal in October 2011. On 7 July 2012, Israel rearrested him extrajudicially, in direct violation of the deal’s terms, and was told he would he would have to be imprisoned for 20 years, completing his original sentence. He was charged with violating the conditions of his release by leaving Jerusalem.

Three other Palestinian prisoners are currently refusing food: Ayman Sharawneh, Jaafar Ezzedine, and Tarek Qa’adan. Sharawneh is in critical condition, according to Addameer.

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