Prison authorities went on high alert on Tuesday after the death of Khader Adnan, who had been on hunger strike since his arrest last February. protesters marched in Jenin and others clashed with forces in Hebron, as Palestinians accused Israel of responsibility.
Adnan, a senior Islamic Jihad operative from the West Bank city of Jenin, was found unconscious on the floor of his cell in the early morning hours and rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Fearing prison riots, authorities raised the level of security alert to its highest and increased troop deployment to deal with any eventuality, especially in the wards holding Islamic Jihad prisoners.
Cells remained locked and prison staff were bracing for fires to be ignited, guards to be attacked and more prisoners to announce they too are going on hunger strike. No incidents have been reported thus far.
National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said he had met with Prison Authority Chief Katty Shitrit earlier in the day to discuss measures that must be taken.
The minister instructed Shitrit to inform "terrorists being held in Israeli prisons," that if they begin a hunger strike, or riot, they will loose some of the conditions granted to them.
"My instructions to the prison authorities is to enact a zero-tolerance policy," Ben Gvir said. "If prisoners chose to be violent, they must be dealt with decisively," he said.
In a court hearing held on Thursday, a military judge said Adnan must take responsibility over the possible repercussions to his health, after he refused medical intervention during his hunger strike.
"A normal society cannot be held hostage by a person threatening to harm himself if his demands are not met," the judge said during Adnan's appeal of his detention.
He added that he was not presented any medical opinion indicating the prisoner was in a life-threatening condition. "We call on the prisoner to stop his hunger strike and conduct an effective defense so that we will be able to reach the best judicial ruling in the shortest possible time," the judge said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinian factions in Gaza fired rockets into Israel, falling in open fields and causing no injuries. The IDF launched morter fire in response.
Khader Adnan, was arrested last February in Jenin and began a hunger strike that lasted 86 days before he collapsed in his cell. Prison authorities said his death was announced after he was found unconscious and rushed to a nearby hospital.
A resident of the West Bank city of Jenin, Adnana was arrested for security forces on suspicion of terror activity and incitement to terror. This was his 13th arrest and 10th detention in jail and as he had previously done, he immediately went on hunger strike and refused any medical intervention.
In 2015, Adnan remained on hunger strike for 56 days, to pressure authorities to release him and had urged other prisoners to do the same.
Last February, Hisham Abu Hawash also a member of the PIJ terror group ended a 140-day hunger strike, protesting his administrative detention after Israel agreed to release him within the month.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said in a statement that Adnan's death was a sad day for Palestinians.
"The occupation, prison authorities and the courts carried out a crime against him, refused to his release and neglected him medically in his solitary confinement, " Shtayyeh said.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor, the attack targeted and destroyed Hezbollah arms depots. In addition, the attack was reportedly carried out from the air over Lebanese territory. Several trucks carrying munitions were also reportedly attacked.
This strike comes ahead of the expected visit in Syria, of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s on Wednesday, the first by an Iranian leader in 13 years.