Zakaria Zubeidi June 13, 2011 (Daniel Bar On)
Zakaria Zubeidi Photo by Daniel Bar On
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A former leading Palestinian militant turned cultural activist is in critical condition after having refused water for three days and food for more than 10, a friend said Wednesday.

Zakariya Zubeidi announced his hunger strike on September 9 to protest his detention by the Palestinian Authority (PA) without charges or trial.

He has stopped drinking on Monday, Freedom Theatre Director Jonathan Stanczak told DPA, after a Palestinian judge extended his remand for another 19 days.

Zubeidi, a co-founder of the Jenin-based Freedom Theatre, has been imprisoned by the Palestinian Authority for close to four months.

He was arrested, along with some 150 others, after unidentified assailants shot at the home of the governor of Jenin, in the northern West Bank, on May 2.

Zubeidi was a leading commander of the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, at the height of the second Palestinian uprising in the early 2000s.

But in 2006 he turned to "cultural resistance," as part of an Israeli-PA agreement under which Israel removed gunmen off its list of wanted militants, if they signed documents pledging to cease armed attacks.

According to Freedom Theatre, "no charges have been made against him, no evidence presented and throughout his imprisonment his rights have been severely violated."

According to unconfirmed reports, Zubeidi's detention is linked to an internal Palestinian power struggle.