Khader Adnan on hunger strike for freedom for 17th day

Leading Palestinian prisoner and multiple long-term hunger striker Khader Adnan is once again on hunger strike for the 17th day as he resists yet another arrest by Israeli occupation forces.

He launched his hunger strike immediately after his arrest on 5 February. He is being held in isolation in harsh, cold winter conditions without blankets to protect him from the weather in retaliation for his hunger strike.

Khader Adnan has been detained 12 times by occupation forces and spent 8 years in Israeli jails, mostly in administrative detention — imprisonment without charge or trial — or accused of membership in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement.

He has launched five hunger strikes, including four to reject administrative detention, and participated in collective hunger strikes. His first hunger strike was in 2004, when he went on strike for 25 days to protest his isolation. Eight years later, in 2012, his 66-day hunger strike captured the attention of people in Palestine and around the world, as he challenged his administrative detention with no charge or trial and won his freedom. Adnan’s hunger strike helped to kick off a wave of individual and collective hunger strikes, particularly those challenging administrative detention. There are currently approximately 900 Palestinians jailed in administrative detention out of 4,750 total Palestinian prisoners.

In 2015, he again went on strike against his detention for 56 days and again in 2018 for 58 days. In 2021, he was once again arrested and ordered to administrative detention, and he went on hunger strike for 25 days. In each of these occasions, he was able to obtain his freedom and confront the jailer, breaking the chains of arbitrary administrative detention.

Jamil Elayan of the Muhja al-Quds Foundation for Martyrs and Prisoners responded to statements by occupation officials that they plan to indict Adnan before the military courts, saying that this is an attempt to undermine his hunger strike. Instead, Elayan emphasized that the prisoners’ movement is moving toward further confrontation: “We expect that the Palestinian prisoners’ strike in the coming month of Ramadan, in addition to Sheikh Khader Adnan continuing his strike, will burst in the Palestinian arena and lead to greater unity and strength for the Palestinian cause.” He urged that all tools and mechanisms that the Palestinian people have must be put in the service of the prisoners and their struggle.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network expresses our strongest solidarity with Khader Adnan and all Palestinian prisoners struggling for freedom. We call for his immediate release and the release of all imprisoned Palestinians in Zionist, Palestinian Authority and imperialist jails. Khader Adnan is a symbol of Palestinian courage, steadfastness and commitment to the struggle for freedom; he has become an international symbol of prisoners’ resistance. We will organize until the prisoners are free — and until Palestine is free, from the river to the sea!