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Call for action: Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike

Khader Adnan, 50 days on hunger strike!

The writing on the poster quotes Khader Adnan, it reads: “I refuse administrative detention and will remain on hunger strike until I am released.” (Photo: Sharif Solaiman, Addameer.org)

By Jalal Abukhater

Khader Adnan; courageously fighting for dignity, employing his stomach as a weapon to call for justice, and fearlessly facing death.

We have reached a moment no one can be silent anymore. Khader Adnan is now on his 50th day of hunger strike! No matter who you are, you cannot overlook Khader Adnan’s current condition. The silence of many human rights organization is deafening, it is intolerable and unforgivable. Khader Adnan is currently the longest lasting Palestinian on a hunger strike.

Khader Adnan has entered his 50th day of hunger strike protesting his illegal detention by Israel. Adnan was sentenced with administrative detention, which basically means Israel holds no charge or any evidence against him. Adnan is held in Israeli prisons without charge and without facing proper trial or prosecution, this is illegal under international law which clearly states that detainees should face proper prosecution and should have their charges read out to them.

Khader Adnan, 33 years old, was born on the 24th of March, 1978. He resides in the village of Arraba, Jenin. Adnan is married with two daughters; his wife is five months pregnant with a third child. He was arrested on the 17th of December 2011 from his house in Arraba, at 3:30 AM as soldiers raided his house. He is now detained at the Ramleh prison hospital, chained to his bed. Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, has the account on the arrest of Khader Adnan: “Before entering his house, soldiers used the driver that takes Khader’s father to the vegetable market, Mohammad Mustafa, as a human shield by forcing him to knock on the door of the house and call out Khader’s name while blindfolded. A huge force of soldiers then entered the house shouting. Recognizing Khader immediately, they grabbed him violently in front of his two young daughters and ailing mother.”

Khader Adnan’s health is rapidly and seriously deteriorating. Although he has been moved to the prison hospital, Adnan wasn’t subject to any medical checks or treatment; instead his arms and legs have been tied to the bed he sleeps on, along with 3 guards guarding his room. Addameer also reported that his family members were prevented from visiting; the Israeli authorities didn’t grant any of his family members any permits that would enable them to visit. Addameer issued a statement stating that the probable reason Adnan was moved to hospital was to further isolate him from his family, lawyers, and other prisoners.

Currently, according to B’Tselem, there are about 307 Palestinians held under administrative detention. Israel continues to hold Palestinians without charge and without proper trial. The Israeli paper Haaretz has reported that – to be exact, 99.74% of cases heard by the Israeli military courts in the West Bank end in a conviction, according to data in the military courts’ annual report. The injustice of the Israeli court system is crystal clear to everyone; Khader Adnan is in the process of resisting this terrible injustice. In the last couple of days, it has been reported that a dozen more prisoners have joined Khader Adnan in his hunger strike, and many others are preparing. It is frustrating to know that Palestinians are now resorting to this last method to resist the injustice of the Israeli occupation. Please get their voice heard, and fight this injustice, especially the terrible court system.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association has also issued a call for action:

Here is how you can help Khader Adnan:

Write to the Israeli government, military and legal authorities and demand that Khader Adnan be released immediately and that his administrative detention not be renewed.

  • Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit
    Military Judge Advocate General
    6 David Elazar Street
    Harkiya, Tel Aviv
    Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
    Email: arbel@mail.idf.il; avimn@idf.gov.il
  • Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi
    OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
    Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
    Fax: +972 2 530 5741
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
    Ministry of Defense
    37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
    Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
    Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
  • Col. Eli Bar On
    Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
    Beth El 90631
    Fax: +972 2 9977326

Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to release Khader Adnan and to put an end to such an unjust, arbitrary and cruel system of incarceration without trial.

Jalal Abukhater is a resident of East Jerusalem, and a high school senior attending school in Ramallah. You can follow him on twitter @JalalAK_jojo

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    1. sameer

      to resist is to exist …

      Reply to Comment
    2. Danny

      As far as Israel is concerned, this guy can starve to death, and the sooner the better. Reminds me of Anatoly Sharansky’s similar acts of defiance in Soviet prison; only then, Israel was up in arms to free this guy. Someone once called the Soviet Union the ‘evil empire’. Israel is no empire, but its actions are just as evil.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Regardless of what Adnan done or not done, regardless of what he believes or does not believe, his act is independent of his past, measuring a mind destroyed in his very residence. Few have the will to fast so long. If ever there was a cry for just notice this is it; he is ready (quite close) to leaving all chance of seeing his family again.
      If this man dies, the Israeli authorities must know they will create a powerful, enduring cultural symbol. Adnan is trapped; so too the Israeli authorities.
      Jalal Abukhater, a high school senior, wrote this piece. Can the rest, outside this hell, understand what that means? A high school senior. This in itself is a powerful measure of this fast AND what some Palestinians will become through it.

      Reply to Comment

      > after two years of confinement under administrative detention, Hana Shalabi was released within the framework of the Israeli and Palestinian exchange of prisoners in October, 2011.
      > Settled again without motives in Hasharon prison on February 16th, she began that very day a hunger strike. Her current health is extremely alarming at present.
      > I demand you to release her immediately.
      > Respectfully yours.
      > (signature et adresse)

      Reply to Comment