Palestinian Prisoner's Hunger Strike Continues After 61 Days Without Food

Published February 16th, 2012 - 10:11 GMT
Khader Adnan's days may be numbered as he continues with his hunger strike- shown for illustrative purposes.
Khader Adnan's days may be numbered as he continues with his hunger strike- shown for illustrative purposes.

Time is running out for Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for the past 61 days.

Adnan's lawyer said on Tuesday that he would petition Israel's supreme court to overturn a military order imprisoning his client without trial. Attorney Jawad Bulus said he would file an urgent request to the Jewish state's highest court of appeals in light of a rapid decline in the health of Adnan, 34.

Bulus, who visited Adnan on Tuesday at a hospital where he is confined in northern Israel, said Adnan's hands and legs were manacled to his hospital bed and he was being held in "inhumane conditions".

A member of the Islamic Jihad resistance group, Adnan has been detained by Israel without charge since December 17. In protest at his detention, he began refusing food a day after his arrest and is now said to be close to death.

Defiant stand

On Monday, a military court rejected an appeal by his lawyers against the four-month ‘administrative detention' order which allows him to be held without charge and which can be renewed indefinitely. Bulus said that Adnan was on Tuesday still refusing to eat and fighting "for the dignity and pride of Palestinian prisoners held without justification".

Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Eisa Qaraqa yesterday called for demonstrations, protest marches and fasts throughout the Palestinian territories to pledge solidarity with Adnan.

Palestinian officials have warned that Adnan's death would spark mass protests throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Adnan has maintained all through his ordeal that Israel has no evidence against him, and accuses his interrogators of mistreating him, saying they made crude remarks about his wife and tortured him.

Israel has not made any public allegations against Adnan, a one-time spokesman for Islamic Jihad.

Yesterday, a Red Cross vehicle arrived to drive Adnan's family to see him at the Zic Medical Centre in Safad. Sources in the Palestinian Ministry of Detainees' Affairs told Gulf News that it is the first time the Red Cross has dispatched a vehicle to drive Khader's family to visit him at the hospital.

"The family fully supports his cause. They will not press him to stop," Qadourah Fares, who heads the Palestinian Prisoners club told Gulf News. "Khader's message has reached the entire world. He is not required to fight alone on behalf of an entire nation," he said.

Under Israeli law, a military tribunal can order an individual held without charge for up to six months at a time.

By Nasouh Nazzal

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