'Imprisoning a man without trial is shameful'

Balad MK Jamal Zahalka visits Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan in hospital on 64th day of hunger strike.

February 19, 2012 15:37
1 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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A man imprisoned in Israel without a trial brings shame to the country, said MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad), Israel Radio reported Sunday.

Such behavior, Zahalka said, is characteristic of primitive countries. His comments came after he visited Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who has been on a hunger strike for 64 days. Adnan, currently in Ziv hospital in Safed, is demanding to either be put on trial or be released, otherwise he will continue his hunger strike.

Adnan, a 33-year-old father of two from Arrabe, near Jenin, was arrested in his home on December 17, but has yet to be charged. There have been media reports that Adnan belonged to Islamic Jihad, but the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) and the IDF have not confirmed that. The IDF said in a statement that Adnan was arrested “for activities that threaten regional security.” It has not given further details.

Physicians for Human Rights - Israel has warned that it is not possible for Adnan to survive a hunger strike of more than 70 days.

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, on Saturday called on Israel to “preserve” the health of the Palestinian prisoner Khader.

The High Court of Justice has agreed to hear a petition on his behalf, but as of press time, it was not known when that hearing would take place.

Ashton’s office said she was “following with great concern reports about the deteriorating health condition of Khader Adnan.” Her office added that the policy chief and the EU had long been concerned about Israel’s policy of administrative detention, in which Palestinians were held without formal charges being brought against them.

“Detainees have the right to be informed about the charges underlying any detention and be subject to a fair trial,” her office said.

Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.

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