Palestinian Prisoners Launch Hunger Strike in Solidarity With Detainee After Appeal Rejected

Solidarity demonstrations also take place in the West Bank; at one of them, at Ofer prison, demonstrators clashed with Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

After a military court rejected the appeal of a Palestinian prisoner who has been on strike for 59 days to protest his administrative detention, some 600 prisoners at Gilboa Prison began a hunger strike on Monday in solidarity with Khader Adnan.

There were also solidarity demonstrations in the West Bank. At one of them, at Ofer prison, demonstrators clashed with Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

Palestinian protester -AFP *-14022012
A Palestinian protester during clashes with soldiers outside Ofer Prison, where hunger-striking Khader Adnan had been held.AFP

Adnan, a resident of Kafr Araba in the Jenin district, was arrested on December 17 on suspicion of security offenses, including being a senior member of Islamic Jihad. The next day an administrative detention order was issued against him for four months, meaning he could be held for that period without being charged.

Adnan immediately launched a hunger strike to protest what he said was the humiliating treatment he received from investigators. He claims he hadn't committed any crime, noting that if he had, he would have been charged by now.

"My pride comes before food," he said.

He has refused medical treatment in Israel, insisting instead that he be treated by doctors from the Physicians for Human Rights organization. But Adnan was recently hospitalized at Ziv Medical Center in Safed in serious condition.

The military court hearing was held last Thursday at the hospital, after it was determined that bringing him to court would endanger his life. Relatives say he has lost 40 kilograms and is seriously dehydrated.

His attorney, Jawad Bulus, said the military court's decision was expected.

"We went to court with no hope and no expectations of justice," Bulus said. "The court didn't relate to Adnan's state of health at all. What surprised me about the decision was the apathy with which it was delivered."

Bulus said he plans to petition the High Court of Justice on Tuesday against the military court decision.

The Islamic Jihad warned of "painful revenge" if Adnan should die in prison or in the hospital.