36-year old Sheikh Khader Adnan, a spokesman for the Islamic Jihad resistance movement, entered the third week of a hunger strike on Sunday, in protest of the conditions in the Israeli prison where he is being held.After being abducted by Israeli troops on December 17th from his home in Arrabah village south of Jenin, Adnan has been held in an Israeli detention center without charges.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Society, the harsh treatment and imprisonment of Palestinian political prisoners held in Israeli detention increased significantly after a two-stage release of prisoners in October and December, in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Adnan told his lawyer that he was interrogated in a harsh manner for at least 2 – 3 hours a day since his abduction. In one instance, he said the Israeli interrogator dragged him across the floor by his beard, and that the interrogator then used Adnan’s beard to polish his boots.
This is not the first time that Sheikh Adnan has been held in Israeli detention. He previously served a total of six years in Israeli prison camps, mainly in so-called ‘administrative detention’, in which imprisoned Palestinians are held without charges for periods of six months at a time.
In a statement, the Palestinian Prisoners Society said that the treatment of Adnan is indicative of a pattern of targeting Palestinian leaders for abduction and detention, and called the brutal treatment of Palestinian detainees under interrogation a “brutal assault on their dignity”.