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Protests spread in solidarity with Khader Adnan's hunger strike

Protest in solidarity with Khader Adnan at Ofer prison last week (Keren Maor / Activestils)

UPDATE: Adnan’s appeal against his administrative detention order was rejected early Monday evening. 

Doctors have expressed grave concern for the life of Khader Adnan, who has been on a hunger strike for the 58 days since his arrest. He also recently stopped drinking water.

Adnan, 33, is hospitalized at the Ziv Medical Center in Safed, where he is chained to a bed despite his condition. On Friday, in light of the complications entailed in moving him, a military court hearing was held at the hospital, regarding Adnan’s appeal against his administrative detention order. Despite the urgency of the case, the military judge announced he would give his decision “over the course of next week” (meaning, this present week). Adnan’s wife, who was allowed to see him yesterday, said that he looks like a ghost.

Adnan, who is politically associated with the Islamic Jihad, began his hunger strike initially in protest of the mistreatment he said he endured during his Shin Bet interrogation. It continues against the four-month administrative detention order issued against him.

Administrative detention is an unusual and extraordinary legal phenomenon, whereby the security establishment essentially admits that it does not have evidence on which to base any charges, but chooses to imprison someone out of concern over activities he or she could potentially undertake in the future. Administrative detention orders can be repeatedly extended for six months, and there are many who spend years in prison under such conditions – with no charges against which to defend themselves. In addition to Adnan, there are presently some 310 people in administrative detention in Israel.

The protest spreads, while the media remains silent

In recent days, the protest against Adnan’s detention has expanded. Demonstrations calling for his release have taken place in Gaza, Ramallah, outside the Ofer Prison, in Nablus, Hebron, Haifa and Tel Aviv. A few of the weekly anti-occupation protests in the West Bank have been dedicated to this call. This Friday, the demonstration marking seven years since the start of Bil’in’s struggle will be partially dedicated to Adnan, who has taken part in the village’s demonstrations in the past.

In Gaza, nine activists have launched a hunger strike in solidarity with Adnan in front of the offices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, demanding immediate intervention on behalf of his release. Additional demonstrations for his release have been held in cities all over the world. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also called on the Israeli government to release Adnan and save his life.

Al Jazeera has also reported that hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails joined the hunger strike yesterday. This strike is taking place just a few months after an earlier hunger strike that swept Israeli jails, in protest against the worsening of prisoner conditions as a result of a government policy designed to exert pressure and bring about the release of Gilad Schalit. That strike ended with the prisoner exchange deal, which the Palestinian prisoners had hoped would end the worsened conditions. To this day, that hasn’t happened.

Like then, Israeli mainstream media coverage of the hunger strike is currently almost non-existent. The lack of coverage is no doubt a result of the absence of public discourse on the Palestinian prisoners in general, and on Israel’s use of administrative detentions specifically.

Read also:
Khader Adnan’s life at risk as hunger strike enters 58th day; solidarity protests spread
Hunger strike highlights forgotten tragedy of Palestinian prisoners
Palestinian on 48th day of hunger strike chained to hospital bed

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    COMMENTS

    1. aristeides

      The few references I have seen to Adnan’s situation have elicited comments along the line of – “Good, starve all the terrorists to death.”

      .
      No one sees, no one cares.

      Reply to Comment
    2. Arib

      The head of Islamic Jihad is on a hunger strike. Haggai, is concerned with the lack of mainstream Israeli media coverage. Just look at the # of suicide bombers, missiles and terrorist attacks claimed by Islamic Jihad and then tell me why they should be covering his hunger strike and why I should feel sorry for this guy. And if you have a really short memory just take a look at the flag of Islamic Jihad.

      Reply to Comment
    3. haggaim

      Who said this is the head of the Islamic Jihad? Not the army or the prosecution, surely, as such a statement would require some kind of proof. However, so far they’ve been unable to put together a case serious enough to convict him of any crime – which is exactly why they put him in administrative detention.
      Certain people in the West Bank say he is the spokesman for Jihad, but surely not the head.

      Reply to Comment
    4. aristeides

      Thanks, Arib.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Tzippi

      The zionist/pro-Israeli camp has been calling for the Palestinian Ghandi for years now. Well here he is.

      Reply to Comment
    6. aristeides

      Where is Noam Shalit, who calls for the release of prisoners – when he happens to be related to them.

      Reply to Comment
    7. As Gilad Atzmon writes in his excellent little book The Wandering Who?, when he looks back at his youth when Palestinians “disappeared just before sunset and appeared again before dawn”:
      “We never socialized with them. We didn’t really understand who they were and what they stood for. Supremacy was brewed into our souls, we gazed at the world through racist, chauvinistic binoculars. And we felt no shame about it either.”
      Administrative detention is just another item on the endless list of measures to insure the Other will never be part of the precious Us.

      Reply to Comment
    8. Thom

      @Arib
      He’s not the head of Islamic Jihad, just someone high up in that terrorist group.

      @Haggaim
      Rick Santorum hasn’t been convicted of being high up in the Republican party, but it is well known that he is. Similarly, Adnan hasn’t been convicted, but the Israelis know who he is. Unfortunately, an enemy terrorist can’t always be told what specific evidence there is against him for fear that it would help him figure out who was informing on him.

      Reply to Comment
    9. Steve

      Uh, Gilad Atzmon is a neo-nazi. Not a trustworthy source.

      Reply to Comment
    10. Steve

      The problem with MOST of these protesters, is, most aren’t protesting with a goal of eventually having full peace with Israel. They’re protesting with the goal of eventually removing Israel from existence, either with the looney “one-state” nonsense that fake peace activists like to promote, or by destruction by whitewashing the goals of Hamas, etc.

      Reply to Comment
    11. Haggai Matar

      Thom – though he isn’t my favourite statesman, I’m glad Rick Santorum hasn’t been convicted of being a member in the Republican party. Why? Becuase being a member in a party, even a high ranking one, shouldn’t be a crime.
      The same goes for Adnan. If there was any proof that he was involved in launching suicide attacks or what not – we wouldn’t have had this conversation. But if he’s just a party member, a spokesperson, a politician – I don’t think that should be enough to put him away.

      Reply to Comment
    12. Jan

      If Adnan is guilty of a crime then put him on trial. What Israel is doing is nothing less than a cruel and horrible punishment. Administrative detention has no place in a country that prates to the world that it is a “democracy.” Imagine what the reaction of Jews around the world would be if another country continually placed Jews under administrative detention . OMG, the cries of “anti-Semitism” would rattle the very heavens above. But when it is a Palestinian involved in this draconian system, most Jews just shrug and don’t give a damn.

      For those of you who might not be aware of the horror of administrative dentention I will define it for you. It is a disgusting and vile system held over from the British occupation in which anyone the Israelis want to throw into jail for whatever the reason can be held without trial, without any evidence for months at a time. At the end of each period the Israeli military “justice” system can renew the period of administrative detention and the Palestinin victim continues to languish in Israel’s gulag.

      Reply to Comment
    13. rose

      “They’ve been unable to put together a case serious enough to convict him of any crime – which is exactly why they put him in administrative detention”.
      This is the point. All the rest are just empty allegations.

      Reply to Comment
    14. aristeides

      Thom’s comment illustrates exactly what is wrong with this practice. First, because no proper justice system relies on informers, who are notoriously unreliable. Second, because treating Adnan as a “terrorist” violates the fundamental principle of presumed innocence, because Israel will not put him on trial or give him the opportunity to refute whatever evidence it has.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Sherri Munnerlyn

      All of this is evidence of a very sick society. Unlawful detentions followed by unlawfully detained prisoners starving to death, and mainstream media in Israel does not even report these horrendous human rights abuses. I am just at a loss for further words about Israel’s indefensible and reprehensible and disgusting conduct.

      But one thing can be said, this man, of all persons, comes through as the one hanging on to his basic human dignity, and he is not letting anyone take that away from him. They can imprison him, kill him, but they cannot take away his human dignity and the stand he takes against the injustices he and his people have been subjected to. He shows all of us the good we all are capable of, in sacrificing self for others. And, in the end, Hope shines through his actions embraced here.

      Reply to Comment