Last Updated: Tuesday, 23 January 2018, 09:04 GMT

Lives of Palestinian detainees on hunger strike in danger

Publisher International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
Publication Date 10 May 2012
Cite as International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Lives of Palestinian detainees on hunger strike in danger, 10 May 2012, available at: [accessed 24 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is extremely concerned about the deteriorating health condition of six Palestinian detainees who have been on hunger strike for between 47 and 71 days. The detainees, who are demanding that the Israeli authorities put an end to their administrative detention, are in imminent danger of dying. ICRC delegates and medical staff have been visiting them since their hunger strike began.

So far, more than 1,600 detainees have been on hunger strike since 17 April. Their main demands are for a resumption of family visits from Gaza and for an end to solitary confinement in Israeli places of detention.

"We urge the detaining authorities to transfer all six detainees without delay to a suitable hospital so that their condition can be continuously monitored and so that they can receive specialized medical and nursing care," said Juan Pedro Schaerer, the head of the ICRC delegation in Israel and the occupied territories. "While we are in favour of any medical treatment that could benefit the detainees, we would like to point out that, under resolutions adopted by the World Medical Association, the detainees are entitled to freely choose whether to consent to be fed or to receive medical treatment. It is essential that their choice be respected and their human dignity preserved."

The ICRC regrets that the Israeli authorities have suspended family visits for detainees on hunger strike.

"Families are anxious about the health of their detained relatives," said Mr Schaerer. "We urgently request the Israeli authorities to allow detainees on long-term hunger strike to receive visits from their families. In such extreme circumstances, allowing contact with family members becomes an imperative humanitarian need."

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