UN officials demand accountability for Israel’s role in death of Khader Adnan
Adnan died in an Israeli prison after an 87-day hunger strike, in the first such death in over 30 years; he was held without trial or charge
By News Desk - May 04 2023

(Photo Credit: Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency)

Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, and Tlaleng Mofokeng, UN special rapporteur on the right to health, on 3 May called for Israel to be held accountable for the death of Khader Adnan, a prominent Palestinian leader and activist.

“The death of Khader Adnan is a tragic testament to Israel’s cruel and inhumane detention policy and practices, as well as the international community’s failure to hold Israel accountable in the face of callous illegalities perpetrated against Palestinians,” the UN officials said.

Adnan died on 2 May in an Israeli prison after an 87-day hunger strike, in the first such death in over 30 years. A total of 236 Palestinian prisoners have died since 1967, of whom 75 died as a result of medical negligence.

“We cannot separate Israel’s carceral policies from the colonial nature of its occupation, intended to control and subjugate all Palestinians in the territory Israel wants to control,” the UN experts said. “The systematic practice of administrative detention is tantamount to a war crime of willfully depriving protected persons of the rights of fair and regular trial.”

“How many more lives will have to be lost before an inch of justice can be delivered in the occupied Palestinian territory?” they added.

A prominent member and spokesperson of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Adnan had been arrested and released multiple times in the past decade and conducted several hunger strikes.

In the will he wrote before his death, Adnan stated, “Do not despair, no matter what the occupiers do to prolong their occupation [of Palestinian land], injustice, and jealousy, God’s victory is near, and his promise to his servants of victory and empowerment is near.”

Adnan was detained on 5 February and immediately went on hunger strike.

He was suffering from severe health problems as a result of the strike, including frequent vomiting of blood, severe weakness, frequent loss of consciousness, difficulty in speaking, and severe pain all over his body.

Israel currently holds approximately 4,900 Palestinians in its prisons, including 1,016 administrative detainees who are held for an indefinite period without trial or charge.

Administrative detention orders are reviewed every six months to see if a detainee may be released or if the order will be renewed. This process can go on for years or even decades.

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