Palestinian detainee Khalil Awawdeh suspends 181-day hunger strike

Awawdeh, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, has been on a hunger strike since early March.

 Demonstrators take part in a protest in solidarity with Palestinian hunger striker Khalil Awawda, who is jailed by Israel, in Gaza City June 13, 2022. (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)
Demonstrators take part in a protest in solidarity with Palestinian hunger striker Khalil Awawda, who is jailed by Israel, in Gaza City June 13, 2022.
(photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/REUTERS)

Palestinian administrative detainee Khalil Awawdeh agreed on Wednesday night to suspend his 181-day hunger strike after securing a written agreement from Israel that he would be released on October 2.

A photo of him in a hospital bed holding up two fingers in a victory sign was widely circulated on Twitter.

A video taken at his hospital bed showed him holding up a cup of tea.

Awawdeh, who is a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, has been on a hunger strike since early March.

A 40-year-old father of four from the village of Ithna near Hebron, he has been hospitalized in Shamir Medical Center in Tzrifin due to his emaciated state and critical health condition.

The IDF this month had suspended his detention for the duration of his hospital stay, but Awawdeh had not wanted to end his hunger strike until it was clear to him that he could return home.

The High Court of Justice both last week and this week rejected an appeal for his release, which was filed by his attorney Ahlam Haddad.

 Palestinian administrative prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on a hunger strike for more than 160 days, is seen at Assaf Harofeh hospital in Be'er Ya'akov, Israel August 24, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/SINAN ABU MAYZER) Palestinian administrative prisoner Khalil Awawdeh, who has been on a hunger strike for more than 160 days, is seen at Assaf Harofeh hospital in Be'er Ya'akov, Israel August 24, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/SINAN ABU MAYZER)

Khalil Awawdeh and Palestinian administrative detainees

Awawdeh was first placed in a six-month administrative detention on December 27, in which he was held without trial and without knowing the charges against him.

The detention was extended for six months and then shortened to October, but Awawdeh had feared it would be extended again.

According to the Israeli left-wing NGO HaMoked, Israel now holds 743 Palestinian administrative detainees.

On Wednesday night, MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint List) called on the government to end its policy of administrative detentions.

“It’s time to stop the policy of administrative arrests – now!” she tweeted.