''MY DIGNITY is more precious than food,'' said Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan as he started the 53rd day of his hunger strike.
That was 11 days ago, and he is now perilously close to death.
Shackled to his hospital bed by both legs and one arm, the 33-year-old has lost at least 30 kilograms, and doctors from Physicians for Human Rights say his condition has deteriorated so significantly that he may die at any time.
Mr Adnan was arrested by Israeli security forces at 3.30am on December 17 at his home in the village of Arrabeh, near the West Bank city of Jenin, one of more than 300 Palestinians being held by Israeli authorities under ''administrative detention'' (detention without charge), rights groups say.
As he enters his 64th day without food, there is mounting international and Palestinian pressure on Israel to release him or charge him, but so far it has not revealed what he will be charged with or why he was arrested.
Under the much-criticised military court system, prisoners can be held for up to six months without charge, and that can be renewed over and over.
Mr Adnan started his hunger strike one day after his arrest to protest against his detention without charge and Israel's refusal to reveal any evidence against him.
Local media say this is his seventh detention. Israel has in the past alleged he acted as a spokesman for the Iran-backed militant group Islamic Jihad.
Mr Adnan's wife, Randa, six months pregnant with their third child, denied her husband was involved in any violent activities. She said Israel had never produced evidence he was a senior figure within the Islamic Jihad.
Mrs Adnan, daughters Maali and Bissan and his father were permitted to visit him on Wednesday, but his mother, sister and brother were not.
An appeal to Israel's Supreme Court last week against his detention was denied.
The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, is the latest to voice ''great concern'' at his deteriorating condition. She reiterated ''the EU's long-standing concern about the extensive use by Israel of detention without formal charge''.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and local rights groups such as the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and Al-Haq have all raised serious concerns.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, Richard Falk, was scathing in his criticisms of Israel's actions in this, and other, administrative detention cases.
Israeli prison authorities said in a statement that Mr Adnan was being treated in compliance with the policies of administrative detentions, ''with special attention given to his humanitarian situation''.
Reports in the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth indicate security officials fear if Mr Adnan does die, it could prompt prison riots and unrest across the West Bank and Gaza.
Lawyers representing Mr Adnan have lodged an appeal to Israel's High Court of Justice protesting over their client's continued administrative detention. It says a hearing will be set as soon as possible.