Israel Allows Family of Hunger Striking Prisoner to Visit for First Time in 55 Days

JENIN, June 28, 2015 (WAFA) – The family of hunger striking Khader Adnan announced Sunday that it will visit Adnan within hours at the Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center after coordinating with the Red Cross and the Israeli government.

Adnan, who has been hunger striking for 55 consecutive days has not seen his family since he launched his hunger strike in an attempt to end his illegal detention without charge or trial, widely known as Administrative detention.

The family of Adnan informed WAFA that Adnan’s medical condition is severely deteriorating.

The three Palestinian Arabic dailies highlighted in Sunday’s issue remarks made by the legal counsel for the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) Jawad Boulos, who warned that Adnan is on the verge of death.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) last Tuesday said it was concerned about the deteriorating health and critical condition of Khader Adnan.

Jacques de Maio, the head of the ICRC’s delegation in Israel and the occupied territories said he was concerned that Adnan’s life was “at immediate risk”. He suggested that “any solution must, however, take into account the necessity of protecting the detainee’s moral and physical integrity.”

De Maio also confirmed that a detainee is entitled to choose whether to be fed or receive medical treatment. “It is essential that a detainee’s choice be respected and his or her dignity is preserved,” de Maio added.

He urged the Israeli authorities to allow Adnan’s family to visit him, noting that it has been more than two months since he was granted a family visit. “Under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, detainees have a right to be visited by their families. Given the circumstances, permitting his relatives to visit Mr Adnan, without delay, is the right thing to do,” said de Maio.

In a recent press statement, Adnan’s wife, Randa said that her husband’s health condition is gradually deteriorating, with a significant weight loss and vision weakness. She said that her husband can no longer walk and is being moved on a wheelchair.

Adnan’s lawyers reported that the Israeli Prison’s Administration has classified his health condition as critical, which necessitated his immediate transfer to the Assaf HaRofeh Medical Center.

Randa said that Israeli lawyers who were able to visit Adnan reported that he was being kept cuffed to the hospital’s bed with three prison guards watching him around the clock.

Adnan is affiliated with the Islamic Jihad movement and is considered one of its active members. He was also the media spokesman of the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank which made him a frequent target by the Israeli occupation forces.

He was detained about 10 times since 1997 when he was still in university. In 1999, he was detained for four months without charges being filed against him. In 2000 he was arrested again to be only released in 2001. In 2002, Adnan was detained again by Israel for 12 months, also without any charges filed against him. After one year he was detained for 11 months, during which he went on a hunger strike for 28 days.

In 2005, Israel detained Adnan and was only released after 16 months. He became mostly known for his 66-day hunger strike in 2013, which was the first and then longest hunger strike in Israeli prisons. Even after his release, Adnan went on another hunger strike for 12 days in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails.

In July 2014, Adnan was detained again, where he was issued an administrative detention for six months that was renewed again in February 2015. He went on a one-week warning hunger strike, which was met with another renewal in May 2015, which led to his current hunger strike.

PPC said that the number of Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention in Israeli jails has reached 450 prisoners.

Administrative detention is the imprisonment of Palestinians without charge or trial and on the basis of secret evidence for up to six month periods, indefinitely renewable by Israeli military courts.

The use of administrative detention dates back to the “emergency laws” of the British colonial era in Palestine, said the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.

It stated, “Israel’s use of administrative detention violates international law; such detention is allowed only in individual circumstances that are exceptionally compelling for “imperative reasons of security.”Israel uses administrative detention routinely as a form of collective punishment and mass detention of Palestinians, and frequently uses administrative detention when it fails to obtain confessions in interrogations of Palestinian detainees.

There are around 500 detainees serving administrative detention in several Israeli jails.

Palestinian detainees have continuously resorted to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and to demand an end to this policy which violates international law.