The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday it was concerned about the deteriorating health and critical condition of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian detainee in Israel, who has been on hunger strike for almost 50 days to protest his detention without charge or trial.
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 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.
ICRC delegates and medical staff have visited Adnan regularly, since he began his hunger strike, to monitor both his health and his treatment by prison authorities.
The ICRC said it has been in contact with his family and has passed on his greetings to them.
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 2011, which was 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 hunger strike as a warning in case his detention order was renewed again, which occurred on May 2015, which led to his current open hunger strike.
The Palestinian Prisoner’s Club (PPC) said that the number of Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention in Israeli jails has reached 500 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.
Palestinian detainees have resorted many times to open-ended hunger strikes as a way to protest their illegal administrative detention and other unlawful measures, demanding an end to these policies which violate international law.