Palestinian hunger striker could die at any moment, lawyer says

A Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for over 160 days in protest over his detention by Israel could die at any moment, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

Israeli forces arrested Khalil Awawdeh, 40, in December 2021 and have since held him without charge or trial, a practice known as administrative detention.

Israel has provided few details about the accusations facing Awawdeh. An Israeli military spokesperson said on Wednesday his detention had been confirmed several times by military courts “and it was determined that the confidential material in his case indicates that his release will threaten the security of the area.”

In March, Awawdeh launched a hunger strike demanding his freedom. He has subsisted only on water since, said his lawyer, Ahlam Haddad.

Egyptian mediators recently pushed for Awawdeh’s release under a ceasefire agreement to end three days of fighting in Gaza between Israel and the militant Islamic Jihad group.

An Egyptian security source speaking on condition of anonymity said on Wednesday that Egypt presented a list of prisoners, including Awawdeh, to Israeli officials and Israel promised to look into it, while expressing reservations on some of the names.