Palestinian ends 66-day hunger strike after deal struck (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) By Majeda El Batsh 02/21/12)
AFP} Agence France Presse
AFP} Agence France Presse Articles-Index-Top
A Palestinian prisoner has ended a 66-day hunger strike over his
detention without charge under a deal that will see him freed in
April, Palestinian and Israeli officials told AFP on Tuesday.
"The Israeli court decided to release on April 17 and based on that
he ended his hunger strike," Palestinian prisoner affairs minister
Issa Qaraqaa said, with the details confirmed by a spokesman for
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"An agreement has been reached between lawyers of both parties that
Khader Adnan ends his hunger strike, and if there is no new evidence
against him, he will be released from custody on April 17," Ofir
Gendelman told AFP.
Adnan, 33, was detained on December 17 and began refusing food a day
later to protest his detention without charge and his alleged
mistreatment by interrogators.
His protest, already the carried out by any Palestinian prisoner, has
attracted international attention and thrown a spotlight on Israel´s
use of administrative , a military procedure which allows suspects to
be held without charge.
Details of the agreement were made public just hours before the
Israeli Supreme Court was to hear an appeal against Adnan´s detention
without charge. The hearing was subsequently cancelled.
"There will be no extension of his administrative detention and he
will be released on April 17," his lawyer Jawad Bulus told AFP,
saying Adnan would formally end his hunger strike at 7pm (1700 GMT).
Adnan´s wife, Randa Mussa, hailed the deal as a "victory" for her
husband, whom medics said had lost more than 40 percent of his body
weight over the past nine weeks.
"He forced the occupation to give in to his demands and I hope he
returns safe to us," she told AFP.
Shortly after the deal was announced, around 400 wellwishers gathered
at a solidarity tent in front of Adnan´s family home in Arabeh
village near the northern cit of Jenin.
Both Bulus and Qaraqaa addressed the crowd, as did Qadura Fares, head
of the Palestinian Prisoners´ Club, and there was a congratulatory
phonecall from Khaled al-Batsh, a senior Islamic Jihad official in
Israeli officials have described Adnan, a spokesman for the Islamic
Jihad movement, as a "terrorist" although he has never been charged
with any offence, nor has any evidence against him been made public.
In January, a military court handed down a four-month administrative
detention order against Adnan.
He appealed against the order earlier this month in an unusual court
session held at his hospital bed in the northern Israeli town of
Safed, but the court rejected his appeal, prompting his lawyer to
turn to Israel´s top court.
Doctors from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel who met with Adnan
last week warned that his health was failing and that he
faced "immediate danger of death" if he continued to refuse food.
Rights groups also condemned the fact that Adnan was shackled to his
hospital bed by chains on both legs and on one arm.
But his act of civil disobedience won him respect across the
Palestinian territories, with thousands of people turning out for
solidarity rallies in Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Hebron and east
Thousands of demonstrators also rallied in Gaza City, waving flags
and holding up pictures of the bearded prisoner, AFP correspondents
In Ramallah, shops closed as part of a general solidarity strike, and
around a thousand people joined a march from the city centre to Ofer
But the protest turned violent as stonethrowers clashed with troops
who fired rubber bullets and tear gas, with three people injured by
rubber bullets, an AFP correspondent and witnesses said.
In Jerusalem, about 70 youngsters carrying flags and pictures of
Adnan marched along Salah al-Din, the main shopping street in the
city´s eastern annexed sector.
And in Gaza City, thousands rallied in support of the bearded
prisoner´s record-breaking strike, waving flags and holding up
pictures of him, AFP correspondents said.
Palestinian officials had warned that Adnan´s death in custody could
spark a violent backlash, and they urged world leaders to put
pressure on Israel to either release the prisoner or charge him.
(Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 02/21/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY