As the Battle of Freedom or Martyrdom approaches, with seven leaders of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement having launched a hunger strike in advance of the 2,000 prisoners scheduled to begin their strike Thursday, 23 March, Sheikh Khader Adnan is on his 46th day of hunger strike.
In a press statement by Randa Musa, Adnan’s wife, she emphasized that her husband is suffering from serious deterioration in his health. He requires a wheelchair to move and is experiencing pain throughout his body. Musa said that her husband had received a legal visit on Monday and that he was under constant pressure to end his strike; she also said that he had not yet received any visits from the International Committee of the Red Cross despite being on hunger strike for over a month and a half.
Her message also addressed the families of the prisoners who will enter the mass hunger strike tomorrow. She urged the families of the prisoners to raise their voices, especially the wives and mothers of the prisoners, and not to rely solely on what the institutions working on prisoners’ issues are doing.
Khader Adnan, currently detained at the Ramle prison clinic, launched his strike as soon as he was seized by Israeli occupation forces on 5 February 2023.
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.
Below is a message from Randa Musa, the wife of Khader Adnan:
A call for the release of the prisoner Khader Adnan and all Palestinian prisoners in the occupation jails
My husband, the Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan Musa, 44 years old, from Arraba, Jenin, is facing very difficult health and detention conditions during his hunger strike, in rejection of his arrest. The Israeli occupation forces stormed our home after midnight on Sunday, 5 February 2023, after exploding its door. They arrested my husband and terrorized our nine children (the eldest is 14 years old and the youngest is one and a half years). Immediately, my husband declared that he would enter an open-ended hunger strike to protest his arrest, after which the soldiers beat him and destroyed our belongings in our home before taking him to an unknown destination.
We later learned that he was interrogated and placed under detention in solitary confinement in the cells of Al-Jalameh interrogation center. The occupation authorities issued an indictment against my husband, Khader Adnan, based on the “confessions of others.” He was transferred to the occupation’s Salem military court to consider his case, which has been proposed six times so far. In flagrant violation of the most basic rights and reflecting the occupation authorities’ persistence in procrastination and delay, his lawyer has not yet been informed of the expected date of his next hearing yet.
My husband, Khader Adnan, aces a continuous deterioration of his health..in addition to facing great pressure and restrictions, including frequent transfers for interrogation, and frequent searches of his cell, which is empty of anything. In addition to my husband Khader’s hunger strike, he refuses to undergo any type of medical examination or take supplements, noting that he suffered from health problems before his health and needs medical care.
My husband Khader Adnan has gone on hunger strike five times before, four times in refusal of administrative detention, and has participated in collective hunger strikes. The first hunger strike in the occupation prisons was in 2004, when he went on strike for 25 days to protest his isolation. In 2012, his hunger strike for 66 days captured the attention of people in Palestine and around the world, as he defied his administrative detention without charge or trial and gained his freedom. In 2015, he went on strike again for 56 days in detention, and again in 2018 for 58 days. In 2021, he was arrested again, ordered to administrative detention, and went on a hunger strike for 25 days. On every occasion, he was able to obtain his freedom, confront the jailer, and break the chains of arbitrary administrative detention. Today, he is hit by a military court case, as several charges were brought against him based on the confession of others.
There are currently more than 900 administrative detainees in the occupation prisons, out of over 4,750 Palestinian political prisoners. This means that nearly one-fifth of all Palestinian prisoners are imprisoned without charge or trial, absence the slightest semblance of justice, although the occupation military courts are also an arbitrary mechanism. These military courts convict 99% of the Palestinians brought before them on the basis of arbitrary military orders. The occupation prison administration imposes systematic collective punishment against the Palestinian prisoners, including isolation, medical neglect, denial of family visits and education, and attempts to withdraw all of the achievements gained through the previous collective strikes of the prisoners’ movement.
My message to the people of the world and to the United Nations is to take action and pressure the occupation to require it to respect human rights, to stop the inhumane treatment of Palestinian detainees and to save the life of my husband Khader Adnan from the slow death he is experiencing, to release him before it is too late, and to work for the freedom of all prisoners in the occupation jails.
I thank everyone who has supported my husband since the first moment of his hunger strike, and I affirm that my husband Khader Adnan represents the message of a nation and wages this struggle on behalf of his people. He does not like hunger or death, but he refuses a life of humiliation and he fights for freedom and dignity.
Randa Jihad Musa, wife of the hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan Musa