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Khader Adnan Continues Hunger Strike

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This article cross-posted from Wallwritings

Khader Adnan is a 33-year-old Palestinian graduate student, who, until he was arrested by Israeli police on December 17, 2011, lived in the occupied West Bank with his wife and two young daughters.

Their home is in the village of Arrabe, near Jenin.

Adnan has not been charged with any crime. Instead, he has been placed under administrative detention, the set of laws that are hideous holdovers from the British Mandate era.

Israel uses administrative detention to arrest and hold Palestinians for any purpose. Eight weeks after his initial arrest, Adnan has still not been charged .

The day after his arrest, Adnan began a hunger strike to protest the administrative detention laws under which he was placed, literally, in chains.

Eight weeks later, he continues his hunger strike and by so doing has become a hero to Palestinians who know the power and brutality the laws inflict on persons under total control of the Israeli Occupation Authorities (IOA).

In The Palestine Monitor, Dylan Collins writes:

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"Khader Adnan has quickly become the focal point and symbolic face of the inherent injustice thousands of Palestinians face on a daily basis within the Israeli penal system. Entering into the 56th day of his hunger strike, Adnan is protesting the Israeli Occupation Authority's (IOA) illegal application of administrative detention and its inhumane treatment of Palestinian detainees."

Israel bases its administrative detention laws, illegal under international law, on Mandate laws, which even Menachem Begin, when he was a political opposition leader before becoming prime minister, denounced as "worse than the Nazi laws."

Under detention, Israel may hold a prisoner for up to six months without revealing any evidence against him or her. Israeli NGO Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) considers indefinite detention without charge, to be a form of psychological torture.

According to B'Tselem spokesperson Sarit Michaeli, the number of Israel's administrative detainees is on the rise. In January 2011, Israel held 219 Palestinians in administrative arrest; by December, 2011, that number rose to 307.

Khader Adnan has appealed his current four-month administrative detention order. On February 9, an Israeli court held a day-long special appeal session for Adnan at Zeif medical center. The Israeli military appeals Judge Moshe Tirosh concluded that she was unable to reach a decision on Adnan's appeal.

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The Addameer (Arabic for conscience) Association for Prisoner Support and Human Rights reports that Judge Tirosh is expected to make her decision soon, "though any delay may prove fatal."

Addameer's report indicates that Khader Adnan has not been allowed to shower, or change his clothes or underwear since his arrest. On February 7, Adnan's wife, Randa, and his two young daughters were given permission to visit him for the first time.

His emaciated stature and the boils covering his face and tongue reportedly shocked the family, but he was "mentally aware" enough to "fully express his love."

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James Wall is currently a Contributing Editor of The Christian Century magazine, based in Chicago, Illinois. From 1972 through 1999, he was editor and publisher of the Christian Century magazine. Many sources have influenced Jim's writings over (more...)

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