Palestinian Hunger Striker Forcibly Hospitalized and Restrained

Khader Adnan Musa, who is serving his ninth period of administrative detention, has been on hunger strike for a month.

Amira Hass
Amira Hass
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Khader Adnan’s father and eldest daughter. Credit: Alex Levac
Amira Hass
Amira Hass

A Palestinian administrative detainee who has been on a hunger strike for the past month has been forcibly hospitalized and chained to his bed.

Khader Adnan Musa is in Assaf Harofeh Hospital in Tzrifin with one hand and one leg cuffed to the bed 24-hours a day and three policemen in his room around the clock, according to two Israeli anti-occupation activists who visited him last Friday.

Musa, who was placed under administrative detention for the ninth time 11 months ago, went on hunger strike to protest his prolonged detention without trial. Three years ago, during another period of administrative detention, he won his release after hunger-striking for 66 days. Altogether, he has spent more than six years in Israeli detention.

The Shin Bet security service says he is an active member of Islamic Jihad, a terrorist organization.

Musa, who is refusing to undergo medical tests, objected to his hospitalization because he knew he would be chained to the bed, according to his attorney, Jawad Boulus. Boulus visited him last Wednesday, when he was still at the Israel Prison Service clinic in Ramle.

Prison Service regulations forbid cuffing a prisoner unless the warden fears “he is liable to escape or help others to escape, cause damage to people or property, damage or destroy evidence, or receive or deliver an object liable to be used to commit a crime or undermine discipline in his place of custody.” But asked by Haaretz which of these offenses the service feared Musa would commit, IPS spokeswoman Sivan Weizman declined to specify.

“The detainee was transferred to the hospital so his situation could be monitored,” Weizman said. “He was hospitalized there at the doctors’ decision. This is a security detainee who is being guarded as per regulations, in accordance with the circumstances and the appropriate situation assessments.”

A spokeswoman for Assaf Harofeh said that decisions on whether to cuff a prisoner are in the Prison Service’s exclusive purview. “We cooperate with the IPS as per regulations,” she added.

Both Boulus and the Israeli activists said Musa is fully conscious and quite lively, though the Palestinian media have reported the opposite. Nevertheless, Boulus added, Musa has lost a lot of weight.

Musa could soon be joined by another hunger striker, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine secretary general Ahmad Sa’adat, who is serving a 30-year sentence for his role in the murder of former minister Rehavam Ze’evi. Sa’adat informed both his lawyers and the Prison Service on Sunday that he will begin a hunger strike on June 19, a year to the day since his family was last allowed to visit him, attorneys Boulus and Sahar Francis told Haaretz.

Sa’adat’s hunger strike is meant to protest not only his lack of family visits, but also what many prisoners claim are repeated violations by the Prison Service of the agreements that ended a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners in 2012, Francis said.

The 2012 hunger strike was called to protest the prevention of family visits, prolonged periods of isolation and the widespread use of administrative detention. But neither written nor oral agreements reached at the time are being kept, according to Sa’adat. Prisoners are still being sent to solitary confinement, hundreds of prisoners are being denied family visits and the number of administrative detainees is rising. Currently, some 450 Palestinians are being held without trial.

Meanwhile, the Shin Bet and the Israel Defense Forces on Monday arrested a Palestinian-American doctor, Sabreen Abu Sharar, who had been studying in Egypt, according to Addameer, the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association. A court remanded her for seven days.

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