Khader Adnan
Photo: AFP

MK Tibi: Israel must free Palestinian hunger striker

Arab MK 'doesn't understand rationale' behind keeping Khader Adnan shackled to hospital bed; warns of West Bank, Gaza protests if prisoner dies in Israel

Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) on Monday called on the Israeli government to "immediately" release a Palestinian prisoner who has been on a hunger strike for more than two months.


Khader Adnan, 33, has been held without charge under "administrative detention" since mid-December. He is being kept shackled to a hospital bed at the Ziv Medical Center in Safed despite warning that he may be close to death.


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"As a physician and Knesset member I find (the practice of shackling) objectionable," Tibi said after meeting Adnan. He urged Israeli authorities to release the prisoner and avoid the "harsh ramifications" of his death in an Israeli hospital.


Tibi at hospital (Photo: Avihu Shapira)
Tibi at hospital (Photo: Avihu Shapira)


Physicians for Human Rights – Israel said it would file an appeal with the administrative court in Petah Tikva, claiming that Adnan is being kept chained to the bed 24 hours a day. The Israel Prison Service said only one of Adnan's feet is shackled to the bed – and only during the night.


According to Tibi, Adnan's life is in danger. "The prisoner has been on a hunger strike for 64 days, and it is known that after 45 days the body begins to decompose on its own. This is what Adnan is experiencing now," the Arab lawmaker said.


Tibi also claimed that Adnan is kept chained to the bed all day. "Even when he goes to the bathroom he is handcuffed," he said.


"Adnan is exhausted. He's lost more than 30 kilos (66 pounds), so I don't understand the rationale behind keeping him shackled to the bed – unless it's for the purpose of humiliation and abuse," Tibi said.


"If he dies, the Israeli government and those who arrested him will bear the criminal and public responsibility. This may lead to the eruption of protests in the West Bank, Gaza and other places," the MK warned.


"Adnan has become a symbol in the entire world. I've received a message of support from a family in Northern Ireland whose son died in prison. We are talking about a man who has never been charged of hurting anyone or using a weapon. He is a political and public activist."


Adnan, a resident of Arabeh, near Jenin, is a senior Islamic Jihad figure in the West Bank. He was detained on December 17 and launched a hunger strike the following day, claiming he was innocent.


He has been held under administrative detention before, and has served time in Israel for various security offenses.


In early January Adnan was transferred to an Israel Prison Service medical center, but he refused to be examined. Members of the Medical Ethics Committee spoke with Adnan and gained the impression that he does not want to die. The meaning of the decision is that IPS doctors can give him transfusions of salts and sugars if necessary.




פרסום ראשון: 02.20.12, 15:27
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