Al-Rekhawi has been held in Ramle prison clinic since his arrest in 2004. He suffers from diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis and high blood pressure.
Al-Rekhawi’s hunger strike has inflamed his existing illnesses and he is at risk of heart failure or a severe asthma attack which could be fatal given his condition, a representative of PHRI told Ma’an.
“With his hunger strike and his refusal to receive treatment, his situation has deteriorated very, very fast,” a representative of PHRI told Ma’an.
Al-Rekhawi has refused treatment by Israeli prison service doctors, PHRI says.
“The IPS doctors’ threats to force-feed and force-treat him, in addition to their determination not to recommend his medical condition as worthy of earlier release from prison, has led Akram to regard them with deep distrust,” PHRI said in a statement.
Al-Rekhawi must be hospitalized immediately, PHRI says, adding that the prison clinic does not have the facilities to conduct necessary medical tests.
The 38-year-old has only been seen by an independent doctor once, after PHRI petitioned an Israeli court for access. They have not been permitted a second visit.
An Israeli district court on Thursday rejected PHRI’s petition to hospitalize al-Rekhawi. PHRI said the judge accepted a brief report “of little medical value” submitted by the Israeli prison service which failed to address the independent doctor’s concerns.
Al-Rekhawi, who has served eight years of a 12-year sentence, is demanding that Israel considers his medical conditions in his request for parole. On June 5, an Israeli court rejected his request for release.
His lawyer Mohamed Abed told Ma’an he submitted a petition to appeal to the decision but is still waiting for a date for the next hearing.
Palestinian prisoners, who are held under Israeli military law, are eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of their sentence.
Israeli prisoners, including those who live in the West Bank, are held under Israeli civil law. They are eligible for parole half-way through their sentences.