Court moves up date for Palestinian hunger striker

Doctors who have treated Khader Adnan say he is on the verge of death and it is unclear how long he can keep up the strike.

February 20, 2012 21:45
2 minute read.
Palestinians holding poster of Khader Adnan

Palestinians holding poster of Khader Adnan 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)


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The High Court of Justice in Jerusalem will hear the appeal of a Palestinian hunger striker on Tuesday, following a last-minute request on Monday to move the hearing up from Thursday.

Khader Adnan is currently on the 65th day of his hunger strike, the longest by a Palestinian prisoner in Israel. Adnan is being held at the Galilee Medical Faculty in Safed, and doctors who have treated him said that he is on the verge of death and it is unclear how long he can keep up the strike.

He is set to be released from administrative detention in May, but last week he issued an appeal to the High Court requesting he be released immediately.

Supporters plan to hold solidarity protests in support of Adnan outside the courthouse during the 3 p.m. hearing.

The 33-year-old Islamic Jihad member from the West Bank village of Arrabe began the hunger strike on December 18, the day after he was arrested in his home by IDF troops. Adnan called the strike over what he said was abusive treatment by the arresting soldiers and to protest administrative detentions, in which suspects arrested by the IDF in the West Bank are held indefinitely without knowing the charges against them.

There are over 300 Palestinians under administrative detention in Israel.

Richard Falk, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories, said on Sunday that Adnan’s case “is a revealing microcosm of the unbearable cruelty of prolonged occupation.”

MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List – Ta’al) visited Adnan in Safed on Monday, and called on Israeli authorities to release Adnan immediately, before he faces “a certain death which Israel would be responsible for.”

If Adnan dies in Israeli custody “it will ignite flames and wild protests in the West Bank and across the world,” Tibi said.

Falk also drew a parallel between Adnan’s story and the campaign to release Gilad Schalit, held captive by Hamas for over five years in Gaza, saying it shows “the contrast that is drawn in the West between the dignity of a single Israeli prisoner held in captivity and the steadfast refusal to be attentive to the abuse of thousands of Palestinians languishing in Israeli jails through court sentence or administrative order.”

Deputy Speaker MK Danny Danon (Likud) on Monday called for the Knesset plenum to discuss the matter of the Arab MKs who visited Adnan this past week to show their support.

“The Arab MKs are welcome to join the terrorist in his strike, but that won’t deter Israel from defending its citizens,” Danon said.

Danon accused the Arab MKs of having “crossed all red lines in their support for a terrorist, and for condemning the state of Israel.”

Danon said the place of these MKs “is in the diplomatic bureau of [Hamas leader Khaled] Mashaal and not in the Knesset.”

Joanna Paraszczuk contributed to this report.

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