Islamic Jihad threatens Israel as hunger-striking detainee reported in critical condition

The detainee, Hisham Abu Hawwash, has been on a hunger strike for 138 days in protest of his administrative detention.

ISLAMIC JIHAD terrorists ride on pickup trucks during a symbolic funeral for Ramadan Shallah, a former leader of their group, in Gaza City on June 7 (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
ISLAMIC JIHAD terrorists ride on pickup trucks during a symbolic funeral for Ramadan Shallah, a former leader of their group, in Gaza City on June 7
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) organization warned over the weekend that if a Palestinian administrative detainee who is on hunger strike dies it would consider his death an “assassination” by Israel.

The detainee, Hisham Abu Hawash, has been on hunger strike for 138 days in protest of his administrative detention. He was recently transferred to the Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh), where he is reported to be in critical condition. Abu Hawash has been held in administrative detention since October 2020.

PIJ Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala threatened that if Abu Hawash dies, his organization would consider the death an assassination and respond accordingly.

A PIJ statement issued in the Gaza Strip claimed that Abu Hawash was “being subjected to a process of assassination.”

“All options are open and on the table in case the occupation continues its procrastination and evasion of responsibility,” the statement cautioned.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants take part in the funeral of their comrade in the southern Gaza Strip November 14, 2019 (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants take part in the funeral of their comrade in the southern Gaza Strip November 14, 2019 (credit: REUTERS/IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA)

A PIJ-affiliated armed group called the Jenin Brigades in the West Bank threatened that Israel would pay a heavy price if the prisoner dies. The group announced a “state of general mobilization” among its members, saying it was ready for retaliation.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Saturday called on Israel to release the detainee. “Abu Hawash is in critical condition and we hold the occupation authorities fully responsible for his life,” he said.

On Friday, a delegation from the PA Health Ministry visited Abu Hawash at the hospital and found that his health condition was seriously dangerous as he suffers blurry vision, significant muscular atrophy and inability to move and talk, the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry said that it had reached out to international human rights organizations to demand that Abu Hawash be moved to a Palestinian hospital after the serious deterioration in his health condition.