Khader Adnan enters 32nd day of hunger strike for freedom

Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan enters the 32nd day of his hunger strike for freedom on 8 March 2023. Adnan, 44, is married to Randa and the father of nine children, the youngest of which is one and a half years old and the oldest 14 years old. He is a former long-term hunger striker who has won his freedom on multiple occasions through lengthy public confrontations with the occupier behind bars. On Tuesday, 7 March, the Israeli occupation military court was scheduled to hold a hearing in his case, which was postponed for the fourth time to 4 April in what appears to be another clear attempt to break his hunger strike.

Adnan, from Arraba, Jenin, is currently held in the Al-Jalameh detention center, where he refuses any medical examinations or supplements despite facing a continuous deterioration in his health. He is experiencing pain throughout his body and blurred vision, said Tamer Za’anin, the spokesperson for Muhjat al-Quds Foundation. He is frequently transferred from the prison to the military court in the “bosta,” putting further pressure on his body, and roused from his isolation cell for “inspection,” despite the fact that his belongings have already been confiscated.

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. In order to avoid another confrontation with Adnan over administrative detention, the Israeli occupation has brought “charges” against him in the military courts — this time, for membership in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement and for “incitement” for his public speeches and political activity. In short, he is being charged for public Palestinian political expression while he conducts a hunger strike, putting his body and life on the line for freedom.

He has launched five previous 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.

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!