Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner transferred to hospital as health deteriorates

The release of Khalil Awawdeh was claimed to be part of the ceasefire that ended Operation Breaking Dawn.

 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)

Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Khalil Awawdeh was transferred from a prison in Ramla to Shamir Medical Center on Wednesday after his health condition deteriorated, according to Israeli and Palestinian reports.

Awawdeh has been on a hunger strike for 152 days. Palestinian prisoner organizations have warned that Awawdeh is in danger of dying and that Israel will be held responsible if he dies.

"The news received from the Ramle prison clinic regarding the condition of the prisoner, Awawdeh, does not bode well, and the occupation is hiding real information about his health condition," said the Wa'ed Association for prisoners.

Ceasefire agreement at risk?

While Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala had said that Israel had agreed to release Awawdeh as part of a ceasefire agreement reached to end Operation Breaking Dawn on Sunday night, Israeli officials have stated that they made no promise to release him. Despite Nakhala's claim, Islamic Jihad official Mohammad al-Hindi stated later that the ceasefire agreement only required Egypt to make an effort to have Awawdeh released and did not require that he actually be released.

The Lebanese Al-Mayadeen TV reported based on Palestinian and Egyptian sources that an Egyptian security delegation was working to have Awawdeh transferred to a hospital for treatment in preparation for announcing the end of his hunger strike and that Egypt would work later to secure his release.

Palestinian Islamic jihad militants display rockets during a military show marking the 32nd anniversary of the organisation's founding, in the central Gaza Strip October 3, 2019. (credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS)Palestinian Islamic jihad militants display rockets during a military show marking the 32nd anniversary of the organisation's founding, in the central Gaza Strip October 3, 2019. (credit: IBRAHEEM ABU MUSTAFA/REUTERS)

Nakhala had warned that his terrorist movement would resume fighting with Israel if its demands for the release of Awawdeh and Islamic Jihad official Bassam al-Saadi were not met. Saadi, a senior official of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, was arrested last week by Israeli forces in Jenin.

Director-General of the Palestinian Prisoners Club Abdullah Al-Zaghari told Al-Mayadeen that Israeli authorities were trying to "maneuver" regarding Awada in order not to release him.