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Israeli High Court denies hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners' appeal


08:15, May 08, 2012

JERUSALEM, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli High Court on Monday denied the appeal of two Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons, arguing that the administrative detentions the prisoners are protesting for are legal, though it recommended the state to apply such detentions "as little as possible."

The prisoners, Bilal Diyab and Ta'ir Halale, have been hunger- striking for over two months to protest their administrative detentions, and for the right to access classified information regarding their arrests, Ha'aretz daily reported.

This kind of detentions allow Israeli authorities to keep prisoners without trial for an unlimited period of time.

The inmates are part of a group of 2,000 Palestinian hunger strikers, most of which began the protest earlier this month. They are protesting against Israel's detention policy, solitary confinement and lessened jail privileges, like cellphones and television sets in cells.

However, the justices that ruled against the appeal also suggested that the government revisits "the possibility of giving access to the (sensitive) material to a jurist acceptable to the detainees, and who could be a former top civil jurist or judge."

The ongoing protest, dubbed "battle of the empty stomachs" may force Israeli authorities to reach deals with the inmates, as their health continues to deteriorate as weeks pass.

A doctor belonging to Physicians for Human Rights told local media last week that Diyab and Halale's health is in serious risk after two months of hunger-striking, though an Israel Prison Service's spokeswoman confirmed that they are currently receiving treatment and constantly being monitored.


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