A group of activists, institutions and prominent figures in the Gaza Strip Wednesday announced a hunger strike in solidarity with detainee Khader Adnan who went on a hunger strike to protest his detention without charges or trial, widely known as administrative detention.In front of the headquarter of the International Red Cross (ICRC) in Gaza city, the committee to defend Adnan announced a hunger strike in an attempt to garner support and call on the world to pressure Israel to release him.
Adnan, who is a father of five, has been protesting his illegal detention without charges or trial for 37 days. He went on a hunger strike when he was arrested by the Israeli Army on December 17, 2011 from his home in Arraba in the middle of the night. The next day, he began a hunger strike that ended after 66 days later on February 21, 2012.
WAFA Palestinian News & Info Agency reports that, in a recent press statement, Adnan’s wife, Randa said that her husband’s health condition is gradually deteriorating, with a significant weight loss and vision weakness. She said that her husband can no longer walk and is being moved on a wheelchair.
Adnan’s lawyers reported that the Israeli Prison’s Administration has classified his health condition as critical, which necessitated his immediate transfer to the Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center.
Randa said that Israeli lawyers who were able to visit Adnan reported that he was being kept cuffed to the hospital’s bed with three prison guards watching him around the clock.
Adnan is affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement and is considered one of its active members. He was also the media spokesman of the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank which made him a frequent target by the Israeli occupation forces.
He was detained about 10 times since 1997 when he was still in university. In 1999, he was detained for four months without charges being filed against him. In 2000 he was arrested again to be only released in 2001. In 2002, Adnan was detained again by Israel for 12 months, also without any charges filed against him. After one year he was detained for 11 months, during which he went on a hunger strike for 28 days.
In 2005, Israel detained Adnan and was only released after 16 months. He became mostly known for his 66-day hunger strike in 2013, which was the first and then longest hunger strike in Israeli prisons. Even after his release, Adnan went on another hunger strike for 12 days in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails.
In July 2014, Adnan was detained again, where he was issued an administrative detention for six months that was renewed again in February 2015. He went on a one-week warning hunger strike, which was met with another renewal in May 2015, which led to his current hunger strike.
The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said that the number of Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention in Israeli jails has reached 450 prisoners.
PPS said that the Israeli authorities issued administrative detention orders against 30 prisoners for a period ranging between two to six months, bringing up the total number of administrative detainees to 450.
Administrative detention is the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence for up to six month periods, indefinitely renewable by Israeli military courts.
The use of administrative detention dates back to the “emergency laws” of the British colonial era in Palestine, said the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
It stated, “Israel’s use of administrative detention violates international law; such detention is allowed only in individual circumstances that are exceptionally compelling for “imperative reasons of security.”
Israel uses administrative detention routinely as a form of collective punishment and mass detention of Palestinians, and frequently uses administrative detention when it fails to obtain confessions in interrogations of Palestinian detainees.
There are around 500 detainees serving administrative detention in several Israeli jails.
Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy which violates international law.
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