Khader Adnan escalates hunger strike in Israeli prison

Khader Adnan with his daughters one day after his release from Israeli detention in April 2012.

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On his 17th consecutive day of hunger strike, Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan is refusing all supplements and is only consuming water, lawyer Ashraf al-Khatib announced today.

The Quds Net News Agency reported today that al-Khatib had visited Adnan in the isolation section of Israel’s Hadarim prison, where Adnan is held without charge or trial, a practice known as administrative detention.

Adnan, a baker from Jenin, was arrested in July 2014. It is not his first arrest or hunger strike.

Adnan became the face of a global movement following his December 2011 arrest, after which he refused food for 66 days before his release in April 2012.

“Arbitrary and unfair”

Adnan reiterated his protest against Israel’s “unjust law called administrative detention which was applied against the thousands of prisoners arbitrarily and unfairly and without any legal justification,” the lawyer said today.

Adnan also refuses to appear in military court in a protest of their legitimacy; he reported to his attorney that the prison authorities are threatening to make him appear by force.

Al-Khatib added that Adnan was in high spirits and thanked institutions which were following his case. He added that Adnan has received two visits from the Red Cross since the beginning of his current hunger strike.

As of 1 March, there were 426 Palestinians being held by Israel without charge or trial out of a total 5,820 Palestinian political prisoners, according to the Ramallah-based prisoners rights group Addameer.

Addameer stated that an Israeli military court judge ruled today for the release of Palestinian legislator Khalida Jarrar on $5,000 bail pending trial. The judge however ordered that the leftwing activist be held for at least three more days to give the military prosecutor opportunity to appeal.

Jarrar was arrested in early April and has been in Israeli detention ever since. She was charged in a military court with twelve “security charges” relating to her political activism and speech.

“Payback”

Observers have noted the timing of Jarrar’s arrest shortly after the Palestinian Authority joined the International Criminal Court, a focus of her work in the legislature.

The Israeli daily Haaretz asserted in an editorial calling for her release: “it is difficult to escape the conclusion that Jarrar’s arrest was political in nature, meant as payback for her public activities regarding the International Criminal Court.”

Addameer said that during Jarrar’s hearing yesterday, “the courtroom was filled with international and foreign lawyers, representatives from diplomatic missions including the European Union, France, Denmark, South Africa, Switzerland, human rights organizations, and journalists.”

“International pressure for Mrs. Jarrar’s release must continue,” the group added.

Jarrar is one of seventeen members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in Israeli prison — approximately one quarter of the parliament, as noted by Haaretz.

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Maureen Clare Murphy

Maureen Clare Murphy's picture

Maureen Clare Murphy is the managing editor of The Electronic Intifada and lives in Chicago.