Day 62 and counting. Adnan's
hunger strike continues. On February 15, Israel let his wife Randa see
him for the second time.
She said "(h)is health has drastically deteriorated from the last time
I saw him" a week ago. "I expect the worst. He insists on continuing
with the hunger strike." He wants to live but will die for justice.
PLO official Saeb Erekat said Abbas pressed Russia, China, Britain,
and EU authorities to help during meetings with acting EU representative
to Palestine John Gatt-Rutter, UK Consul-General Vincent Fean, Russian
representative Alexander Rudakov, and Chinese PA ambassador Yang Wei
He also contacted Washington, EU Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland,
and France. Nothing so far materialized. Western leaders provide one-sided
support for Israel. Expect nothing from them for Adnan.
He's held administratively without charge. He committed no crimes yet
faces imminent death. He lost over a third of his weight. His life force
is slowly ebbing. His muscles, heart, stomach, and immune system are
His entire system could stop functioning any time. Israel wants him
dead. So far, pleas on his behalf are ignored. The Palestinian Council
of Human Rights Organizations (PCHRO) called for emergency action to
save him. So did Samidoun, the Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network.
It demanded his immediate release before it's too late.
On February 16, the Carter Center "called on the Israeli government
to immediately charge or release" Adnan. His "case highlights the inconsistencies
of Israel's administrative detention policies with internationally recognized
rights to due process."
On January 24, the Carter Center denounced Israel's arrests of Palestinian
legislators, including PLC Speaker Aziz Dweik. Uncharged, he and others
were sentenced to six months administrative detention.
Jimmy Carter said:
"These men are guilty of nothing more than winning a parliamentary seat
in an open and honest election, which was monitored by the Carter Center
in (January) 2006."
"The detention of Speaker Dweik and other Palestinian legislators appears
to be an attempt to hamstring the PLC in order to prevent Palestinian
reconciliation and a prospective election later this year. We urge that
(they) be released."
In contrast, Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU High Foreign Affairs
and Security Representative Catherine Ashton issued a weak-kneed statement,
"The EU requests the government to do all it can to preserve the health
of Mr. Adnan and handle this case while abiding by all legal obligations
under international law. The EU reiterates its longstanding concern
about the extensive use by Israel of administrative detention without
EU countries express concerns without teeth. As a result, Israel breaches
international law with impunity.
Arbitrary administrative detention (AD) is illegal. Prisoners may be
held indefinitely. They aren't told why. Alleged secret evidence is
unavailable to defense lawyers. They can't dispute it, examine witnesses,
or present contradictory evidence refuting it.
AD's permitted only "in time of public emergency which threatens the
life of the nation," and only for the shortest possible time.
Israel uses it indiscriminately. Hundreds are imprisoned this way. AD
should never substitute for customary criminal proceedings, except during
short-term emergency conditions.
Adnan's one of hundreds of victims. After Friday prayers, thousands
rallied supportively for him in Gaza. Crowds chanted, "We are all Khader
Adnan." Hundreds also demonstrated in Jenin and other West Bank cities
and towns. So did hundreds more in Israeli prisons.
Islamic Jihad (IJ) said his death won't go unnoticed. It promised to
respond violently if he dies and continue resisting. IJ leader Nafez
Azzam accused Arab states and Western powers of ignoring him, saying:
"Shame on the nations of hundreds of millions (of Muslims) for the fact
that Khader Adnan is still in prison."
An IDF spokesman lied saying Adnan "threaten(ed) regional security."
In fact, he owns a bakery, fruit and vegetable shop. Calling himself
a local leader, he served as Islamic Jihad's spokesman. He committed
no violence or other crimes.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said:
"The Palestinian people, with all its components and its factions, will
never abandon the hero prisoners, especially those who lead this hunger
Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said his health remains at risk even
if he starts eating because his system's acclimated to no food.
Major Media Response
US major media scoundrels ignore him. They support Israel's worst crimes.
Others abroad noticed belatedly. On February 16, London Guardian writer
Harriet Sherwood headlined, "Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan
'near death' in Israel detention," saying:
After two months without food "shackled to bed in an Israeli hospital,"
he risks imminent death. Petitioning Israel's High Court for help, one
of his lawyers, Mahmoud Kassandra, said:
"This is the last chance. The medical report says he could die at any
minute. We hope this will succeed but I am not optimistic."
So far, no Court hearing's been scheduled. It rarely intervenes in these
type issues, but can convene on short notice other times.
Hundreds of Palestinians are held administratively without charge. "Many
protesters say Adnan has become a symbol of Israel's occupation and
its treatment of prisoners."
On February 17, London Independent writer Donald MacIntyre headlined,
"Khader Adnan: The West Bank's Bobby Sands," saying:
In mid-December, Adnan was seized violently "at 3:30am by some scores
of Israeli military and security personnel who surrounded the family
home" south of Jenin.
Weak after two months without food, he faces "immediate danger of death."
Though activist for years, "his family insists that he has never been
involved in violence; nor has he been charged with it. Indeed, on this
occasion, he has not been charged with any crime."
He's Palestine's Bobby Sands and an Arab Street hero. He declares his
honor's "more precious than food." His sister Maali called him a model
father who "loves life" and "wants to end administrative detention."
His wife Randa said he told one of his lawyers, "I do not want to go
to oblivion or death. But I am a man who defends his freedom. If I die
it will be my fate."
A Final Comment
In a letter written earlier, Adnan said the following:
“I started my battle offering my soul to God almighty and adamant to
go ahead until righteousness triumphs over falsehood. I am defending
my dignity and my people’s dignity and not doing this in vain."
"The Israeli occupation has gone to extremes against our people, especially
prisoners. I have been humiliated, beaten, and harassed by interrogators
for no reason, and thus I swore to God I would fight the policy of administrative
detention to which I and hundreds of my fellow prisoners fell prey.”
“Here I am in a hospital bed surrounded with prison wardens, handcuffed,
and my foot tied to the bed. The only thing I can do is offer my soul
to God as I believe righteousness and justice will eventually triumph
over tyranny and oppression.”
“I hereby assert that I am confronting the occupiers not for my own
sake as an individual, but for the sake of thousands of prisoners who
are being deprived of their simplest human rights while the world and
international community look on."
"It is time the international community and the UN support prisoners
and force the State of Israel to respect international human rights
and stop treating prisoners as if they were not humans.”
A supportive Voice from Palestine letter to him said, in part:
"Dear brother, dear comrade,
As you continue to defy oppression and as you continue to struggle for
freedom, in your name and in the name of every Palestinian and in the
name of every conscientious human, listen to the voices around you."
"Listen to the voices of the walls of the dungeon that hold you captive.
Listen to their silent whisper, shameful of imprisoning your dignified
spirit, shameful of burying you alive, shameful of you and your steadfastness.
Listen to your body break the limits of hunger, break the limits of
"Listen to your willpower break the walls of the dungeons. Listen to
your courage defeat oppression. Listen to your voice break the silence.
And listen to the voices beyond your dark cold cell; listen to the voices
rising high and growing strong with every day and every hour. Listen
to them chant your name. Listen to them demand your freedom. Listen
to them repeat your words: my dignity is more precious than food."
"Listen to the thousands of Palestinian prisoners locked up behind Zionist
bars. Listen to them in interrogation cells, defying the torture, refusing
to surrender and say: we are Khader. Listen to them in dark dungeons,
defying harassment, fighting against injustice and say: we are Khader."
"Listen to them on sick-beds, defying the pain, defying medical negligence
and say: we are Khader. Listen to them in isolation cells, defying time
and place, defying death and say: we are Khader. Listen to their voices
penetrate the walls of the dungeons, cut distances between one Zionist
jail to another and unite all Palestinian prisoners."
"Listen to them say: Khader, you are not alone, your message is ours,
your struggle is ours, your pain is ours, your hunger is ours."
"Listen to your "Zionist jailers.....Listen to them as they sweat cowardice
with every minute of your hunger strike. Listen to their faces cracking.
Listen to their fear. Listen to their silence. Listen to their disgrace.
Listen to their inhumanity."
"They wish you to lose your willpower. Tthey wish you to surrender.
They wish you to die, because with every day, with every hour, with
every minute of hunger strike you expose them, expose their hypocrisy,
expose their lack of conscience."
Palestinians, the Arab Street, and thousands worldwide support him in
solidarity. We're all Khader Adnan.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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