Israel rejects appeal to free Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike

Tel Aviv: An Israeli military court has rejected an appeal to release a Palestinian prisoner whose health has been worsening amid his 165-day hunger strike in protest against his detention without trial or charge, a local daily reported.

Justice Eyal Yinon ruled that despite Khalil Awawdeh’s deteriorated medical condition, “the danger he poses still doesn’t allow his release”, Xinhua news agency quoted Israel’s Ha’aretz newspaper as saying in the report.

The judge said that the improvement of Awawdeh’s health “rests on his own hands”, and the court can only hope he will end his hunger strike.

Ahlam Haddad, Awawdeh’s lawyer, confirmed the appeal was rejected and said that “the ruling poses a danger to her client’s life”, adding she plans to petition Supreme Court in an attempt to release him.

Awawdeh was evacuated to a hospital on August 10 after his health condition deteriorated.

Israel maintains that Awawdeh is a militant of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, while he denies the allegation.

The Islamic Jihad demanded his release during the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal with Israel, which ended the three-day deadly fighting in the Gaza Strip earlier this month.

The group did not however, identify him as a member.

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