Palestinian Hunger-Striker and Political Prisoner Mahmoud Al-Balboul Rushed to ICU
Mahmoud Al-Balboul, 21 years old Palestinian political prisoner and member of Fateh Youth Movement from Bethlehem, was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit of Wolfson Medical Center in Tel Aviv the past Sunday 4th September.
This came against the severe deterioration in his health and accompanying serious complications after 67 days on hunger strike, starting 1 July 2016. Mahmoud’s brother, Mohammad Al-Balboul, 26, and Malik Kadi joined Mahmoud in the hunger strike on 4 July 2016.
Mahmoud’s health sharply deteriorated as he began suffering from severe fatigue, lost 30 kilograms (66 pounds) and had difficulty speaking. Despite warnings by Israeli doctors of an imminent risk of paralysis in case of continued refusal to take vitamin supplements, reports indicate that Mahmoud refused all but water.
The Balboul brothers, detained on 9 June and sentenced to six months of illegal administrative detention, declared an open hunger strike in July to protest Israel’s widely condemned policy. Administrative detention allows Israeli authorities to hold political activists indefinitely without trial or charges, based on undisclosed evidence; it also allows for the prevention of meeting between the detainee and lawyer. This is illegal under international law and infringes on basic internationally recognized rights, including right to due process and freedom from arbitrary arrest or detention, as well as numerous international humanitarian law provisions.
IUSY MC holds Israeli authorities fully responsible for the lives of Al-Balboul brothers, and Malik Kadi as well as all Palestinian political prisoners. In conformity with values of solidarity and fraternity, we extend a request for support to place sufficient pressure on the Israeli Prison Service and government to comply with the demands of the striking political prisoners to cancel the policy of administrative detentions. We demand the immediate release of all Palestinian political prisoners, support for their ongoing struggle in attainment of freedom.
These perpetual acts of illegal aggression are widely reflected in the increasing levels of violence and instability not just in Palestine and the Arab region, but also across the world. It is high time that we raise our voices against occupation, discrimination, violence, extremism and apartheid and take concrete, tangible steps that bring us closer to the day where we see a freedom and justice in Palestine.