Palestinian hunger strikes test Israeli jailing policy

March 15, 2012 18:39

RAMALLAH, West Bank - The deteriorating health of a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike for the past month is focusing international attention on Israel's decades-old use of detention without trial.

Shrouded by winter gloom, Palestinian protesters clutching pictures of Hana Shalabi gathered on Thursday outside Ofer prison, the largest in the occupied West Bank, and shouted slogans at Israeli soldiers guarding the facility.

The 30-year-old has refused to consume anything but water since being arrested in the West Bank village of Burqin last month and held on terms of "administrative detention." Shalabi is now suffering spells of dizziness, muscular wasting and loss of consciousness, her lawyers and medical observers say.

Her protest is part of a spreading movement by Palestinian prisoners ignited in December by Khader Adnan who ended a near-fatal fast of 66 days after authorities agreed to cut his detention period.

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