Protest for Palestinian hunger striker turns violent

High Court agrees to hear appeal for Khader Adnan’s release.

February 16, 2012 01:51
2 minute read.
Palestinian rioters [file]

protesters outside Ofer prison_390. (photo credit: Reuters)


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Two border policemen and 20 Palestinians protesters were lightly injured during clashes on Wednesday afternoon, near Ofer Prison just outside Ramallah.

Some 150 protesters rallied there to call on the defense minister to release Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, 33.

The father of two from Arrabe, near Jenin, has been on a hunger strike for 61 days to protest his administrative detention. He was in the prison until he was transferred to the Galilee Medical Faculty in Safed.

The IDF arrested him in his home on December 17, but has not charged him with anything.

There have been media reports that Adnan belonged to the Islamic Jihad, but the Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) and the IDF have not confirmed that.

Although his detention order is for four months, Adnan fears it will be extended indefinitely, said Israeli activist Jonathan Pollak, who is a spokesman for the Palestinian grassroots organization the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.

As his medical situation becomes critical, activist support on his behalf has increased.

Wednesday’s protest was the third such rally this week outside Ofer Prison.

The border policemen shot tear gas and rubber bullets at the protesters, according to Pollak.

An IDF spokesman said the officers responded with tear gas and riot dispersal means after protesters threw stones at them.

A small protest by Israeli activists was also held outside the hospital in Safed.

On Friday, a demonstration will be held in solidarity with Adnan in the West Bank village of Bil’in, near Modi’in Illit.

Pollak said it was possible an additional protest would be held on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the High Court of Justice agreed to hear a petition for release submitted by Adnan’s attorney, but it has yet to set a date for the hearing.

The appeal relied in part on medical information provided by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel.

The organization said that one of its doctors had examined Adnan five times this week.

The doctor has determined that he is in “immediate danger of death,” the organization said in a release it sent to the media.

When queried, it would not release the name of the physician.

Adnan is receiving an infusion of liquids, salts, glucose and vitamins, the doctor said in the press release.

He has lost 30 kilograms, the doctor said. His condition is weak and he is permanently connected to a heart monitor.

After 50 days of fasting, the muscles can decompose. As a result the heart can fail and the immune system can collapse, the doctor said.

It is not possible to survive a hunger strike of longer than 70 days, the doctor added.

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