Martyrdom of Sheikh Khader Adnan, after 86 days of hunger strike: Latest target of the Zionist assassination policy

Khader Adnan, Palestinian prisoner, hunger striker and resistance leader, was martyred in the early morning hours of Tuesday, 2 May 2023 after 86 days of hunger strike, demanding his freedom. Adnan, 45, was married to Randa Musa, and is the father of nine children. A leader in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, he became one of the most prominent symbols of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and ongoing resistance after winning his liberation from administrative detention four times through hunger strikes, in 2012, 2015, 2018 and 2021.

Throughout his hunger strike, which he began on 5 February 2023, from the moment of his arrest by occupation forces, he refused to break his strike despite immense pressure to do so. When occupation forces charged him with membership in Islamic Jihad and giving political speeches (“incitement”) before their military courts, he refused to end his strike. The Israeli prison administration refused to transfer him to a civilian hospital and refused his release on bail just last week, declaring that more information was needed about his medical condition. Just yesterday, yet another military court hearing in his case was postponed and delayed into the future, a clear policy of acting to ensure his death behind occupation bars.

The martyrdom of Sheikh Khader Adnan, the symbol of dignity, freedom and steadfastness, is an Israeli assassination, carried out with forethought and premeditation. It has been clear for the months of this strike that the occupation is determined to eliminate this symbol of prisoners’ resistance and Palestinian sacrifice and commitment and love for his people and land. However, it is also clear that the legacy of Sheikh Khader Adnan will never be eliminated by this practice of Zionist assassination. Instead, like his fellow leaders of the Palestinian revolution and resistance, he is an example of the unbending will of the Palestinian people that would not bow down to colonialism, Zionism and exploitation.

It is also clear that all of those who are complicit in and backers of Zionist colonialism are partners in the assassination of Khader Adnan, from the U.S. and its $3.8 billion in weapons handed over to the Israeli regime each year to the Canadian, British and European governments that continue to praise and salute the colonial project while denouncing those who resist it as “terrorist.” We also note here the complicity of the Palestinian Authority, which continues to arrest and imprison those who resist like Khader Adnan, rather than raise their cases and calls to freedom in the official and international arenas where it is present. Over the past 86 days, Samidoun, along with Adnan’s wife, Randa Musa, his comrades in the resistance, and many others, have warned that the Israeli occupation intends to assassinate him.

According to the occupation prison administration, Sheikh Khader Adnan was found unconscious in his isolation room at the Ramle prison and was then pronounced dead at Assaf Harofeh hospital. The 237th martyr of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement, he spent 8 years behind occupation bars, most in administrative detention, and was arrested 12 times by the occupation, as well as by the collaborationist forces of the Palestinian Authority practicing “security coordination.”

A tireless advocate of resistance, truly dedicated to the Palestinian people, he refused to give up his resistance and his hunger strike until the last moment, committed to his approach of freedom or martyrdom. His martyrdom must become a cry of rage and a commitment to build upon his great sacrifices and dedication to the Palestinian people and the total liberation of the land of Palestine, from the river to the sea. With every strike, every speech, every mobilization for the prisoners, Sheikh Khader Adnan personified the Palestinian will to resist and ability to sacrifice for a great and just cause despite the most seemingly hopeless of circumstances.

He also never hesitated to express solidarity with fellow prisoners struggling against injustice, as he did in his message to California prisoners on hunger strike in 2012, and in his message to Irish Republicans who stood with him during his own hunger strike.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network mourns the martyrdom of Khader Adnan with deep sadness and rage, and sends its deepest condolences to his wife, Randa Musa, a tireless advocate for not only his freedom but the liberation of all prisoners and all of Palestine, his nine children, who set up a sit-in in Manara Square in Ramallah, his fellow strugglers and the Palestinian people and the Arab and international movements for justice and liberation.

The only response to his martyrdom must be continued and escalated action, resistance, protest and struggle, and for people around the world and Palestinian and Arab communities in exile and diaspora, it is urgent that we take the streets to make it clear that Khader Adnan, a great symbol of freedom, will never be eliminated by the Zionist assassination policy. He must live on in each of us and our actions, in honor of his sacrifice, commitment and willingness to put his body and life on the line not only for his own freedom, but for the liberation of Palestine. The great crime of the assassination of Sheikh Khader Adnan must not be allowed to pass without real accountability imposed by the people.

Glory to the martyr, Sheikh Khader Adnan. Freedom for the prisoners, the cause to which he gave his life. Liberation for Palestine, from the river to the sea.