Israel frees Palestinian after 56-day hunger strike

Islamic Jihad has congratulated Adnan for his "victory" and said a celebration was being organised in his village


Afp July 12, 2015
Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner who staged a 56-day hunger strike while being detained for a year without charge by Israeli authorities, hugs a relative as he arrives in the West Bank village of Arraba after his release early on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

ARRABA: Israel on Sunday released a Palestinian prisoner who staged a 56-day hunger strike which brought him near death in a protest against the controversial procedure allowing detainees to be held indefinitely without charge.

Khader Adnan was greeted to a hero's welcome in his village near Jenin, in the northern West Bank, that included fireworks, songs and flags for Islamic Jihad, the militant movement to which Israel says he belongs.

Read: Al-Quds rally shows solidarity with Palestinians

Residents wore shirts donning Adnan's picture. The bespectacled 37-year-old, thin and with a long beard, was released before dawn in an apparent effort to limit attention to the move, initially expected at midday.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli Prison Authority confirmed the release but provided no other details.

Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner who staged a 56-day hunger strike while being detained for a year without charge by Israeli authorities, is greeted by friends and relatives as he arrives in the West Bank village of Arraba after his release early on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Islamic Jihad congratulated Adnan in a statement for his "victory" and said a celebration was being organised in his village of Arraba for Sunday evening.

Adnan had been held for a year under administrative detention, which allows imprisonment without charge for renewable periods of six months indefinitely.

Khader Adnan (R), a Palestinian prisoner who staged a 56-day hunger strike while being detained for a year without charge by Israeli authorities, receives a kiss from a relative as he stands next to his father upon his arrival in the West Bank village of Arraba following his release early on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Of the 5,686 Palestinian prisoners currently held by Israel, 379 are detained under the procedure.

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His hunger strike, which had brought him near death by the time it concluded last month, had sparked warnings from the Palestinian government that it held Israel responsible for his fate. Regular protests were organised in support of him.

Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner who staged a 56-day hunger strike while being detained for a year without charge by Israeli authorities, kisses his father as he arrives in the West Bank village of Arraba after his release early on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Adnan ended his hunger strike on June 28 after Israel agreed to release him, at which point he was transferred to an Israeli hospital.

An Israeli official said at the time that the deal was made possible after Adnan withdrew his demand that Israel undertake never again to place him under administrative detention.

Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner who staged a 56-day hunger strike while being detained for a year without charge by Israeli authorities, kisses his wife as he arrives in the West Bank village of Arraba after his release early on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

The official said Adnan's deteriorating health and appeals from the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Palestinian Authority had contributed to the decision to release him.

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He was detained a year ago, shortly after the kidnapping and murder of three young Israelis, which triggered the arrests of hundreds of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The killings were part of an upsurge in violence in the run-up to the 2014 Gaza war.

Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner who staged a 56-day hunger strike while being detained for a year without charge by Israeli authorities, kisses his father as he arrives in the West Bank village of Arraba after his release early on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

Adnan had previously gone on hunger strike for 66 days in 2012 to protest against his detention. He was released at the end of the protest, during which he had ingested vitamins and salt. He refused to swallow anything except water during his most recent detention.

A long list of Palestinian prisoners have gone on hunger strike, including nearly 2,000 in 2012 to protest against the administrative detention policy.

Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner who staged a 56-day hunger strike while being detained for a year without charge by Israeli authorities, kisses his mother as he arrives in the West Bank village of Arraba after his release early on July 12, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

The Israeli government in mid-June renewed efforts for legislation that would allow prisoners to be force-fed when their lives are in danger, sparking criticism from health experts and rights groups.

Read: Human Rights Watch asks UN to put Israel on child rights violators list

The bill was initially approved by the government in June 2014 at the height of another mass hunger strike of Palestinian prisoners during which 80 were hospitalised.

The Palestinian leadership submitted a report to the International Criminal Court last week that included the treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

 

COMMENTS (4)

Stewart J | 6 years ago | Reply In the history of this world, Palestine has never been a nation. I don't see it becoming one either.
Ashraf | 6 years ago | Reply He looks healthier than people who have eaten for 56-days.
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