Qaanitah Hunter- Cii News (July 17, 2012)
Palestinian hunger striker, Akram Rikhawi, suffered a stroke on Tuesday
as his family grew distraught over his ever slimmer chances of survival.
Speaking to Cii News from Palestine, his eldest daughter, Yasmeen Rikhawi,
said her father was in a terrible state as he entered the 97th day of his hunger
“His children and grandchildren are waiting for news of his martyrdom,” she
Akram Rikhawi was arrested on 7 June 2004 on his way back to his home in
Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) stopped the vehicle
at the Abu Ghouli checkpoint between Gaza City and Rafah and demanded to see all passenger IDs, Prisoner rights group Addameer noted on their website.
It further said that after handing over his ID, Akram was immediately
arrested. Since the beginning of the Second Intifada in September 2000, the
IOF had considered Akram as wanted for arrest.
“He has a shortage of Folic acid and vitamins B2 and B12,” Yasmeen said
after confirming that he is in the prison hospital.
Yasmeen explained her father’s torture by describing how 3 Israeli soldiers
gathered around him and ate their meals in order to provoke him.
“When they take him to hospital he is shackled and he is in and out of
consciousness because the diabetes kicks in,” she said in Arabic.
He suffers from many chronic conditions, including asthma, diabetes and
osteoporosis high cholesterol, kidney problems, and immune deficiency.
His daughter lamented the lack of international support to have her father
released: “Nobody wants to help us.”
But despite his deteriorating condition, the father of eight remains
steadfast, she said.
Yasmeen said she approached many people for assistance for her father but to know avail. “I went to all the ministers, to Ismail Hanieyah to other
ministers but no one wants to help I just say to them Allah is sufficient
for me and He is the best of guardians.”
The Palestinian government has not commented or sought to represent Akram till this date. She said they have failed her father and family.
In a letter to his family, Akram asked why no one cares about him. “Is it because I am from Gaza that they don’t want to help me,” he rhetorically asked.
This question brings to light a new wave of political motives and
interference when it comes to the Palestinian government. “In that case it is the will of Allah and we will meet in the gardens of Jannah,” he told his family.
Palestinian Prisoner rights group, Addameer, said their lawyers were not
given access to him since July 5. “Independent doctors were also not given
access to him,” they said.
Very distraught, Yasmeen continued to say that Akram’s children are go-getters and are striving to make their father proud.
“One daughter gets over 80s in her exams and when she writes exams she
cries. And when they ask her why is she crying, she says she wants to make
her father proud.