Palestinian, Israeli rights groups fear for life of Palestinian hunger striker

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GAZA/REHOVOT, Israel (Reuters) – Palestinian and Israeli human rights groups voiced concern on Tuesday over the condition of a Palestinian who began a hunger strike 79 days ago against his detention without charge by Israel.

Maher Al-Akhras, 49, is now in an Israeli hospital suffering from heart pain and convulsions and has slipped occasionally into a coma, his wife said.

A resident of the city of Jenin in the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Akhras was taken into custody in July under an Israeli “administrative detention” order.

Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency said Akhras was detained after it received information that he was an operative of the Islamic Jihad militant group, an allegation his wife denied.

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