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Red Cross: Three Hunger-Striking Palestinian Detainees at Risk of Death

Common Dreams staff

Palestinians stage a demonstration in solidarity with hunger strikers in Israeli jails, in the West Bank city of Ramallah on September 13, 2012. (photo: PressTV)

Three Palestinian detainees on hunger strike are at risk of death, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated Friday.

"These people are going to die unless the detaining authorities find a prompt solution," Juan Pedro Schaerer, the head of the ICRC delegation in Israel and the occupied territories, said in a statement of the Israeli-held detainees.

The detainees are Samer Barq, on hunger strike for 117 days, Hassan Safadi on hunger strike for 87 days, and Ayman Sharawneh on hunger strike for 77 days.

Haaretz writer Amira Hass reports that the detainees were also visited this week by a doctor from Physicians for Human Rights.

"The doctor reported of a clear deterioration in the condition of the hunger strikers. They are suffering from loss of energy (movement in the large muscle groups), significant muscle depletion, dizziness, low blood pressure, slow pulse, blurred vision, bleeding gums and a fungal infection in the mouth cavity. Despite this, they are being required to carry out daily activities, including showering, with no assistance. They told the doctor about the great physical effort it takes them to carry out activities, and that they often fall due to dizziness and fainting," reports Hass.

UPI reports that the three are being held without charge and are among 250 held in "administrative detention."

Following the statement from the ICRC, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed "grave concern" over the health of the three detainees, and reiterated "the EU's longstanding concern about the extensive use by Israel of administrative detention orders."

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