Israel military again delays action on Khader Adnan’s appeal as concern over hunger striker’s condition mounts

Adnan Khader, the head of the Islamic Jihad Movement in the West Bank, talking to the media after a meeting with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Muqata in the West Bank town of Ramallah June 28, 2005.

Mushir Abdelrahman Maan Images

Despite his grave medical condition after 54 days of hunger strike, Israeli military authorities have once again postponed action on Khader Adnan’s appeal against his four-month “administrative detention” – without charge or trial.

Earlier, Tommy McKearney, who spent 53 days on hunger strike as part of the 1980-81 Irish hunger strikes sent a video message of support for Adnan.

The following release from Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer contains more information.

Addameer statement: Israeli Appeals Court Decision Delayed in Disregard of Khader Adnan’s Critical Medical Condition

Ramallah, 9 February 2012 - Addameer reiterates its grave concern for the life of Khader Adnan, who received no decision today in the appeal against his administrative detention order. On the 54th day of his hunger strike, Khader’s health has entered an alarmingly critical stage that will likely have irreversible consequences and could lead to his fatal collapse at any moment. He stated that he will remain steadfast in his hunger strike until he is released.

Khader’s appeal hearing took place today, 9 February, at Zif medical center in Safad and was attended by his lawyers, including two from Addameer. His hands and feet were shackled while he was moved from his room in the hospital to a different room for the court hearing. During the hearing, the shackles were removed from his hands only. Israeli military appeals judge Moshe Tirosh did not reach a decision on Khader’s appeal of his 4-month administrative detention order and is expected to make a decision within the coming week, though any delay may prove fatal. The legal discussions of the hearing are not public, as per the Israeli standards of administrative detention.

A Physicians for Human Rights-Israel doctor was able to visit Khader yesterday, 8 February. This examination was only his second since he began his hunger strike. Because Israeli Prison Service guards did not grant Khader and the doctor privacy during the examination, Khader did not feel free to discuss the full extent of his condition. For more details on his current state, please refer directly to Physicians for Human Rights.

On 7 February, Khader’s wife, Randa, and his two young daughters were permitted to see him for the first time since his arrest on 17 December. His wife described his shocking appearance, noting that his body had shrunken significantly, that he had ulcers covering his face and tongue and that his hair, beard and nails were extremely long. He told her that he had not been allowed to shower or change his clothes or underwear since his arrest. His 4-year-old daughter repeatedly asked her mother, “Why is he tied to the bed? Why does he look like this? Why can’t he come home with us?” During the visit, both his legs and his right hand were shackled to the bed and soldiers stayed in the room the entire time. Nevertheless, he remained mentally aware and was able to fully express his love for his family. Khader’s unwavering hunger strike is in protest of the inhuman and degrading treatment he has been subjected to since his arrest despite his deteriorating health and of Israel’s ongoing policy of detaining Palestinians without charge or trial.

Addameer holds the Israeli Occupying Forces accountable for Khader’s life-threatening condition and also holds the international community responsible for not taking action to save his life. Addameer demands that the European Union, the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross intervene with Israel immediately before it is too late. Addameer further hails all local and international solidarity efforts made on Khader’s behalf and urges individuals to continue calling attention to this most urgent matter.