Israel’s Supreme Court denies hunger-striking Islamic Jihad prisoner’s appeal

Detainment “fully justified,” the judges said, adding that he poses an imminent risk to national security.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

A week after turning down a request for full release from Israeli custody filed by a hunger-striking Palestinian Islamic Jihad member, Israel’s Supreme Court denied an appeal of that ruling on Tuesday morning.

Khalil Awawdeh is currently hospitalized in Assaf HaRofeh Hospital in central Israel and has reportedly dropped to a weight of 80 pounds.

“We can only hope again that the petitioner will come to his senses and stop the hunger strike,” the court stated in the ruling.

Judge Anat Baron noted that the fact that Awawdeh is being held without formal charges does not mean that he is innocent.

Rather, the delay in filing charges speaks to the risk that revealing evidence gathered against him could “severely compromise the security of the state and the sources of information.”

Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court denied a previous petition filed by Awawdeh’s attorney, Ahlam Haddad.

The Justices wrote that they had seen classified information from intelligence agencies which “fully justified” Awawdeh’s continued detainment, adding that they were confident he poses an imminent risk to national security.

Awawdeh was captured by Israeli security forces in December 2021 and held in administrative detention since then. He began a hunger strike in protest of his being held without charge in March 2022.

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Haddad told Hebrew-language media that her client “is in a stage between life and death. According to the medical literature, he is in danger of a sudden death.”

After pictures of Awawdeh in his hospital bed were made public, the European Union Delegation to the Palestinians released a statement urging his immediate release.

“Shocked by the horrible pictures of Awawdeh who is hunger striking now for 169 days in protest against his detention without charges and is in imminent danger of dying,” the EU Delegation wrote on Twitter. “Unless charged immediately, he has to be released!”