Authorities released Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan from custody on Sunday after a deal was reached last month for him to conclude a 56-day hunger strike.
A security official said the release was made following an order issued last month for “humanitarian reasons,” and following Adnan’s agreement to drop a demand that authorities agree not to arrest him in the future. Adnan launched his hunger strike on May 4 and was hospitalized weeks later in critical condition.
Upon arriving in his hometown of Jenin in the West Bank, he said “I see the happiness among Palestinians flowing and the Palestinian pain and hope for the freedom of all prisoners, God willing.”
“The occupation made a mistake in arresting me the first time, the second time and all previous arrests.
Today the occupation makes the mistake of releasing me, because they think they’ll abort the Palestinian happiness if they release me earlier, which is not typical. This is a cowardly act of the occupation that fears the Palestinian happiness and love for the Palestinian prisoners,” he stated.
His hunger strike was launched largely to protest administrative detention, the controversial practice of holding Palestinian security prisoners without charge or trial, and without their being able to see the evidence presented against them.
According to figures released by the Prisons Service earlier this month, there are 379 prisoners currently on administrative detention, out of a total of 5,719 security prisoners.
A previous hunger strike launched by Adnan in late 2011, to protest his administrative detention, lasted 66 days. The act became a cause célèbre for Palestinians and their supporters around the world, with riots and protests being held both in Israel and the Palestinian territories in solidarity.