Palestinian hunger striker Hana Shalabi close to death, doctors say


Palestinian women in the West Bank village of Burqin hold up portraits of Hana al-Shalabi during a demonstration demanding her release on Mar. 8 2012, International Women's Day.


Saif Dahlan

A Palestinian hunger striker protesting against her imprisonment by Israel is close to dying, according to the medical rights group Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.

Hana Shalabi, 30, has taken only water since she was arrested 35 days ago on Feb. 16, Associated Press reports.  She is being held without formal charges under Israel's "administrative detention" system, which can be applied to anyone suspected of posing a security risk, and is not due to be released for another three months.

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The news agency quotes Ran Cohen from the group as saying that Shalabi's muscles are wasting, she has lost 14 kilograms and is in "excruciating pain".

"We are worried. Her physician has demanded she be transferred to hospital," said Cohen.

Israel Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman reportedly said that Shalabi is being monitored at a prison clinic.

Al Jazeera says Shalabi was previously held in administrative detention for 30 months between 2009 and 2011,until she was freed along with 1,026 other Palestinians in a prisoner exchange deal for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

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Shalabi is reportedly a supporter of the militant group Islamic Jihad, the BBC explains, which Israel has designated a terrorist organization.



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