Israeli officials are not force-feeding, or forcing treatment on Khader Adnan, who is in his 64th day of hunger strike against his detention without charge or trial by Israel, despite an earlier report to that effect on Israel’s Ynet website.
Physicians for Human Rights - Israel (PHR) confirmed that there is no change in Adnan’s situation and that the Ynet reporter responsible for the report said it had been “mistakenly published.” Meanwhile the Israeli High Court is to hear a petition against Adnan’s detention on Thursday.
Adnan is currently under custody at Ziv Hospital in Safad.
The misleading item this morning on the Hebrew edition of Ynet stated:
The Medical Ethics Committee allowed the Israel Prison Service to treat Islamic Jihad senior member Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for two months. The decision was made after members of the committee spoke with the detainee and gained the impression that he does not want to die. The meaning of the decision is that IPS doctors can give him transfusions of salts and sugars if necessary.
The information was also tweeted by Jewish Agency hasbara official Avi Mayer:
Report “mistakenly published” - no change in Adnan’s status
Although the Ynet item is dated today, 19 February, it did not state when the members of the medical ethics committee met with Adnan. Reacting to the news item, a spokesperson for prisoners rights group Addameer told The Electronic Intifada:
The Hebrew article is correct in saying that he agreed to put the minerals in his water last week and glucose later on in the week. This is not the same as force-feeding as these nutrients are not considered food and the concern now is whether he will actually be given food through an IV, which he has of course as of yet not agreed to.
The Addameer spokesperson added that neither Addameer, nor Physicians for Human Rights - Israel, which had previously examined Mr. Adnan, are aware of any new authorizations for treatment.
Responding to the report via Twitter, Ran Cohen, Executive Director of Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) - Israel, said, “Khader Adnan is not being forcibly fed in any form. He agreed, as already mentioned, to get minerals & glucose.” Cohen added, “PHR Israel spokesperson talked with relevant the Ynet reporter. The reporter claimed that the item was mistakenly published and it actually referred to last week decision to give Khader Adnan glucose and vitamins.”
Adnan has never wanted to die
Khader Adnan has never wanted to die, and his goal has been freedom and rights, not death.
On 17 February, The Independent reported that Randa Adnan, Khader’s wife,
recalled that her husband told one of his lawyers: “I do not want to go to oblivion or death. But I am a man who defends his freedom. If I die it will be my fate.”
Randa Adnan gave an extensive interview to Omar Rahman and Abir Kopty for Aljazeera English:
“I know the difficult time is yet to come,” says Randa. “His medical situation will deteriorate. It is hard to recover after this point. The doctors have told me that he could have a heart attack at any moment.”
“I still have hope that he will be released and come back home healthy,” she says wearily, although later she admits that the reality of the situation is dire.
Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Carter Center have all called on Israel to release or charge Adnan. Yesterday, European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton issued a statement expressing “grave concern” for Adnan and calling on Israel not to allow his condition to deteriorate.
Israel High Court to hear detention case
Meanwhile, Palestinian prisoners rights group Addameer announced via Twitter that the Israeli High Court in Jerusalem is to hear Khader Adnan’s case against his “administrative detention” – without charge or trial – next Thursday, 23 February at 11.30 am.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.