Occupied Palestine (SaebPress) — A Palestinian prisoner, 33-year-old Khader Adnan, passed his fifty five day on hunger strike , protesting along with inmates against the Israeli policy of internment without trial -administrative detention.
On Monday and Tuesday Palestinians rallied for Khader Adnan and all political prisoners before regional offices of the Red Cross, demanding that the organization takes a solid stand for the rights of more than 5000 Palestinian prisoners and detainees held in ‘Israeli’ prisons.
Khader was arrested on 17 December 2011, when ‘Israeli’ Occupying Forces (IOF) raided his home outside Jenin at 3:30 am. Before entering his house, soldiers used the driver that takes Khader’s father to the vegetable market, Mohammad Mustafa, as a human shield by forcing him to knock on the door of the house and call out Khader’s name while blindfolded. A huge force of soldiers then entered the house shouting. Recognizing Khader immediately, they grabbed him violently in front of his two young daughters and ailing mother.
The soldiers blindfolded him and tied his hands behind his back using plastic shackles before leading him out of his house and taking him to a military jeep. Khader was then thrown on his back and the soldiers began slapping him in the face and kicking his legs.
They kept him lying on his back until they reached Dutan settlement, beating him on the head throughout the 10-minute drive. When they reached the settlement, Khader was pushed aggressively out of the jeep. Because of the blindfold, Khader did not see the wall right in front of him and smashed into it, causing injuries to his face.
Amnesty International told ‘Israel’ to release or try Khader Adnan, the gravely ill Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for 51 continuous days, ever since his arrest by ‘Israeli’ occupation forces in the West Bank on 17 December.
Amnesty’s demand came as Musa Adnan, Khader’s elderly father, announced that he was going on hunger strike too in solidarity with his son – whom doctors said is at risk of imminent death.
Amnesty International also commented on ‘Israel’s’ lack of compliance to international law, denouncing the potential fatal results of ‘Israel’s’ lack of concern for
prisoner rights. In a statement by Amnesty International’s Anne Harrison, Deputy Director of North Africa and the Middle East, she stated:
“The Israeli authorities must release Khader Adnan and other Palestinians held in administrative detention unless they are promptly charged with internationally recognizable criminal offences and tried in accordance with international fair trial standards.”
According to a statement released by the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainee Affairs,who have joined Khader Adnan’s hunger strike, transferring them to solitary confinement. The prisoners names are Raed al-Sayegh, Muhtaseb al-Assa, Ayman al-Za’qeq, Hassan lafi, Mohammad Shaheen, Ahmad al-Iweiwi, Na’il and Firas al-Barghouthi.
Adnan’s hunger strike is to protest the fact that he has been held by ‘Israel’ without charge or trial in so-called administrative detention, and mistreatment by ‘Israeli’ interrogators.
According to Amjad Najjar, media spokesperson for the Palestinian Prisoners Society and head of the Hebron branch, the most recent wave of prisoner civil resistance was inspired in part by similar resistance movements to British authority in Ireland. “We all watched the Bobby Sands documentaries ,” he said
At its height the strike has included as many as 2000 prisoners from all political parties and has brought systemic abuse of Palestinian inmates into limelight of international media.
Organized resistance among Palestinian resisters is no new phenomenon. Previous generations of prisoners have fought and won the ability to self-organize and educate, the very same rights taken away by the Netanyahu government.
The PPS itself is the continuation of organizing that took place inside prison, says Najjar, when prisoners recognized the need for prisoners to self-represent as much as possible to outside media. Along with advocacy for prisoner rights, they facilitate visitations and provide legal, educational, and other services for inmates and their families.
While Najjar said, “Our problem is not with the people of the ICRC…we think they are in solidarity,” the PPS campaign to end prisoner abuse is expected to escalate in coming months leading up to Palestinian Prisoner’s Day on April 17th.
Until the ICRC denounces the treatment of prisoners and formally recognizes their status as prisoners of war, the Palestinian Prisoners Society will continue to hold weekly demonstrations.
This coming week a demonstration will take place near the town of Ad Dhahiriya at the Meitar Checkpoint, a main route for Palestinians to visit incarcerated family members. Soldiers have begun conducting frequent strip searches, including of women, in dual harassment of would-be visitors by violating their modesty and cultural and religious prohibitions.
On Monday the father of Khader Adnan, Musa Adnan, announced that he too would join his 33 year old son in solidarity by partaking in the hunger strike, meeting with Salaam Fayyad in Ramallah.
Qadura Fares, the president of the Palestinian Society Prisoner’s Club, announced on Monday that demonstrations and act of solidarity would continue. Prisoner advocates requested a statement from Ofer military court on Monday regarding the extension of Adnan’s administrative detention, only to receive a confirmation from ‘Israel’ that Adnan still faces at least 4 months of imprisonment, enacted since the order was arbitrarily placed on January 8th.
According to the prisoner support and human rights organization Addameer (‘Conscience’), since 1967 ‘Israeli’ authorities have arrested 2 in 5 Palestinian men and 1 in 5 Palestinians in generally (700,000), including 10,000 women and many thousands of children. Currently there are more than 200.
These numbers do not include those incarcerated by proxy, through the Palestinian Authority, which has on many occasions been obligated to cooperate with ‘Israeli’ forces. The steadily worsening conditions for 4500-6000 Palestinian in ‘Israeli’ prisons at any given time received a severe shock in June 2011, after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised collective punishment—including punitive isolation and curtailed access to education, television, books, medical care, family visits, and more—while the single ‘Israeli’ soldier Gilad Shalit remained in Hamas custody.
Later that year, in September 2011, Palestinian prisoners from multiple factions and prisons announced a “Campaign of Disobedience,” involving a hunger strike, refusal to prison uniforms, and noncompliance with role calls. Even though Shalit was released in October, conditions have not improved and in many cases have worsened, according to an Amnesty International report. Since 1948, over 200 Palestinians have died in prison, from inadequate medical care and food, severe beatings and torture, and other abuse.
A poster calling for the release of Khader Adnan
Here is how you can help Khader Adnan:
Write to the ‘Israeli’ government, military and legal authorities and demand that Khader Adnan be released immediately and that his administrative detention not be renewed.
- Brigadier General Avihai Mandelblit
Military Judge Advocate General
6 David Elazar Street
Harkiya, Tel Aviv
Fax: +972 3 608 0366; +972 3 569 4526
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
- Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi
OC Central Command Nehemia Base, Central Command
Neveh Yaacov, Jerusalam
Fax: +972 2 530 5741
- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak
Ministry of Defense
37 Kaplan Street, Hakirya
Tel Aviv 61909, Israel
Fax: +972 3 691 6940 / 696 2757
- Col. Eli Bar On
Legal Advisor of Judea and Samaria PO Box 5
Beth El 90631
Fax: +972 2 9977326
Write to your own elected representatives urging them to pressure Israel to release Khader Adnan and to put an end to such an unjust, arbitrary and cruel system of incarceration without trial.