Palestinian detainee and iconic former hunger striker Samer al-Issawi is in deteriorating condition, his family said following a visit with him.According to Ma’an News Agency, activist Badie Dweik said that al-Issawi was visited by his family at Jalbou prison, where they noticed he was feeble and with a pale face, that he seemed fatigued, and suffered a noticeable loss of weight.
Samer reportedly complained about pain in his kidneys and having difficulties in eating.
Mr. Dweik also said that Israeli authorities had prevented Issawi’s lawyer from visiting him since late June.
Samer served 10 years in Israeli jails and became an internationally recognized icon for the prioners’ movement after spending 9 months on hunger strike last year.
Samer was released, along with 1027 Palestinian prisoners, as a result of an Egypt-brokered deal between Hamas and the Israeli government for the return of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli sports columnist and a former Israeli soldier.
In July of 2012, however, Samer was re-arrested for violating the terms of his release when he left Jerusalem into the West Bank.
Convicted for 8 months, to possibly include a reinstatement of the rest of his original 26 year sentence, al-Issawi began a hunger strike in August, 2012.
In April of last year, when a deal was finally reached where he was to serve 8 months for violating his bail, and then be released to Jerusalem, Samer announced the end of his strike.
Samer’s sister Shireen was arrested with their brothers Medhat and Shadi, in March. They were not charged, but Israel has refused to release any details about their arrest, in line with behavior typical of the Administrative Detention policy.
In January of 2013, brother Ahmad al-Issawi’s home was bulldozed.
See: 06/23/14 ‘Samer al-Issawi Re-arrested’