Khader Adnan prevails after 58-day hunger strike

Khader Adnan with his children during a rally honoring him following his release after a previous long-term hunger strike, in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, July 2015.


Shadi Hatem APA images

Khader Adnan was released from prison on 13 November after refusing food for 58 days in protest of his administrative detention.

This was the West Bank resident’s third long-term hunger strike since 2012 to resist his repeated imprisonment without charge or trial by Israeli occupation authorities.

Adnan refused to take supplements or undergo medical examinations during his strike, and even stopped drinking water during the last day. Israeli authorities have transferred Adnan several times in an attempt to isolate and humiliate him, prisoners advocates say.

His health deteriorated sharply during his protest.

This video shows Adnan reuniting with his children upon his release:

“Adnan, 40, has become a symbol of the steadfastness and resistance of imprisoned Palestinians following his multiple hunger strikes,” prisoners rights group Samidoun stated.

“He has received widespread international solidarity with the strikes, which have drawn attention to the collective struggle of all Palestinian prisoners.”

Adnan is from the occupied West Bank city of Jenin. He previously undertook two prolonged hunger strikes: 66 days in 2012 and 55 days in 2015.

His most recent arrest was on 11 December, after which he was indefinitely imprisoned without charge or trial for almost a year.

At the beginning of September, Adnan launched a hunger strike that lasted until the end of October to protest his administrative detention.

Administrative detention orders are typically issued for six-month periods, but can be renewed indefinitely. Under such orders, detainees are held without charge or trial and unable to see evidence against them.

This Israeli practice is a direct continuation of British colonial rule and constitutes a war crime, according to prisoners rights group Addameer.

It is primarily used against Palestinians, with few exceptions.

Adnan terminated his strike when the Israeli army agreed to try him on 29 October, after postponing his trial 17 times.

Israel accuses Adnan of being a member of Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian political and resistance organization. Israel considers virtually all Palestinian parties to be “terrorist” organizations.

He was tried and sentenced to one year including time served, which left a few days for him to remain in prison before his release.

Israel subjects Palestinians from the West Bank to trial in a military court, while Israeli settlers are subject to civilian courts.

Israel’s military courts lack basic due process and have a near-100 percent conviction rate for Palestinians.

Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoner Rizk Rajoub terminated his hunger strike on Sunday after reaching an agreement with Israeli occupation authorities to limit his administrative detention to four months.

Israel subjected Rajoub, 61, to solitary confinement during his strike, which lasted more than three weeks.

Rajoub waged a hunger strike last December, when the Israeli military court made him choose between administrative detention and exile in Sudan.

Rajoub has spent approximately 20 years in Israeli prisons, 10 of them in detention without charge or trial. He is from the occupied West Bank village of Dura.


Tamara Nassar

Tamara Nassar is an assistant editor at The Electronic Intifada.