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Israel raids home of Palestinian hunger striker

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Israeli police raided overnight the east Jerusalem home of a Palestinian prisoner who has been on long-term hunger strike, arresting his brother, family members and a police spokeswoman said on Monday.

The raid took place in Issawiya on the northern outskirts of annexed east Jerusalem at the family home of Samer Issawi, a 33-year-old prisoner being held by Israel who has been refusing food since August.

"At 2:30am (0030 GMT), Israeli forces barged into our house without any warrant or order and locked us all in one room while five men attacked Shadi and took him away," his sister Shireen told AFP.

"Lawyers were not allowed access to him and he had a secret hearing without a lawyer which handed him a four-day detention," she said.

Israel police corroborated the arrest of Shadi Issawi, with spokeswoman Luba Samri saying: "I can confirm he was arrested," without giving any further details.

In a separate development, a Jerusalem court was to hold a Tuesday hearing on Samer Issawi's case, his sister said.

"Tomorrow at 2:30pm at Jerusalem Magistrates Court, there will be a hearing for Samer," she said, adding he had not been due in court until March 14.

"We don't know what to expect."

Over the weekend, the European Union expressed concern over the deteriorating health of Issawi and three other long-term hunger strikers, urging Israel to respect its human rights obligations towards the prisoners and permit family visits.

As well as Issawi, it expressed concern about Tareq Qaadan, 40, Jafar Ezzedine, 41 and Ayman Sharawna, 36, all of whom have been refusing food over their being held without charge under a procedure known as administrative detention.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130218/israel-raids-home-palestinian-hunger-striker