1 From: Rela Mazali
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2012 11:44 PM
Subject: Falk Interview on Al-Ahram
Threat of 3rd intifada, says UN Rapporteur about Khader Adnan hunger strike
In a special Q&A with Ahram Online, Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur on Situation of Human Rights in Palestine, urges international community to take action over Israel detained Khader Adnan, who has been given days to live
Nada El-Kouny & Osman El Sharnoubi , Friday 17 Feb 2012
Adnan Khedr’s face from a poster calling for his release(Image: Ahrarwledna.com, the official website for prisoners of the Islamic resistance movement)
• Wife of Palestinian hunger striker calls for Egyptian help
• Deal sought to free Palestinian hunger striker
• ‘Record’ Palestinian hunger striker appeals detention
• Palestinians in Israeli jails on hunger strike
One of the most iconic cases shedding light on the consequences of the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the unjust treatment of Palestinians is that of Khader Adnan. The 33-year-old mathematics graduate who usually runs a bakery in the West Bank, is on his 61st day of hunger strike in an Israeli jail.
The hunger strike is in protest of his unjust detention and the degrading treatment he has been subjected to by the Israeli authorities, his lawyer Jaward Boulous, confirmed.
Dubbed as ‘Record’ Palestinian hunger striker by a variety of media outlets over the past few weeks, Adnan was detained on 17 December, 2011 near the West Bank city of Jenin. The main reason for his incarceration is having served as the spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad, even though the Israeli authorities have yet to provide evidence against him or to formally charge him.
Adnan is currently in a very weakened state. His doctor, from Physicians for Human Rights, says that he is “in immediate danger of death.” While in detention, he has been shackled to his bed by both legs and one arm. Due to his deteriorating health, he has been transported to a number of Israeli hospitals since January.
In an attempt to garner international attention, support and action for Adan’s case, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories, Richard Falk spoke to Ahram Online.
Falk expressed that this is a “troubling case” that needs special attention, as doctors report he cannot survive beyond 70 days if he sustains the strike. “Outside of it being a humanitarian crisis, this is also a significantly sound political crisis,” Falk added.
Although Israel have linked Adnan to Islamic Jihad, Falk also asserted that Adnan should be characterised as a “thinker” as opposed to an “activist”, as no proof has been provided linking him to the group.
This case brings to light the inconsistencies in international public opinion and Israeli state policy. There are clear double standards in the way that Adnan’s case has been dealt with in contrast to treatment of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli prisoner who was exchanged for 1,207 Palestinian prisoners on 18 October, 2011.
Falk compared the “fuss” made over Shalit’s case with the silence surrounding Adnan’s.
“If Adnan is to die, a third intifada is to rise… he will be considered a martyr,” expressed Falk, further emphasising the importance of the issue. He explained that that whatever happens to Adnan, “the Palestinian political imagination has been fastened on this case and it will never be forgotten.”
The visit to Cairo, in addition to raising awareness about Adnan, was an attempt to cross over in the Gaza Strip, which had to be cancelled due to the turbulent security situation in Northern Sinai. Instead lawmakers and activists have met with Falk in Cairo.
Egypt, Falk explained, was key to the situation: “it is important to use Egypt’s relations with Israel, and to push the Egyptian authorities to take an initiative.”
Randa, 31, Adnan’s wife who is pregnant with the couple’s third child, urged the Egyptian authorities to step in, as reported by MENA on Tuesday. “Our hope now lies in Egypt for Khader’s release,” said Randa. “There is talk of Egyptian efforts being made, which I hope is true as Egypt was instrumental in the last prisoner swap deal,” she added making reference to Gilad Shalit.
Falk sees that Adnan’s case is an opportunity for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), as acting president, to step up and show concern over what is taking place outside of Egypt.
However, it is important to note that the SCAF has behaved in a similar way to Israel when handling domestic affairs in Egypt. Since 28 January, 2011 the ruling military council has abused Emergency Law and randomly arrested over 12,000 civilians.
One of those people is Maikel Nabil, an Egyptian blogger who was recently released from military detention at the end of January 2012, after also sustaining a hunger strike in protest of his illegal detention
To what extent the Egyptian authorities will be motivated to intervene in Adnan’s case remains uncertain.
In a press statement issued on Wednesday, Falk said the Israeli government must take “immediate and effective action to safeguard Mr. Adnan’s life” and also to uphold his rights.
Falk deemed Adnan’s imprisonment without charges illegal and called on the international community to pay attention to the way Israel mistreats thousands of Palestinian prisoners. This is a problem, Falk added, which should be of great concern to them.
Falk is due to present a full human rights report in Amman, Jordan on the 20 February.
Until then, Adnan’s slim chance of survival should serve as a wakeup call to those who are responsible for his life.
As thousands are already rallying in Gaza calling for his release and Palestinian activists from different political parties are, unusually, coming together, Israel should be wary of the repercussions of Adnan’s possible death. For the regionally and locally isolated Jewish state, the demise of this new icon of Palestinian resistance could bring with it very serious problems.
2 Jerusalem Post
Saturday, February 18, 2012 22:41 IST
Photo by: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
EU, UN decry detention of Palestinian hunger striker
By JPOST.COM STAFF
Prisoner Khader Adnan on 63rd day of hunger strike; UN’s Falk warns of “third intifada” if Adnan dies.
The European Union and the United Nations on Friday expressed concern for the deteriorating health of Palestinian hunger striker, Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan, who has refused to eat for 63 days in protest of his administrative detention. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, in a written statement, called on Israel to do all it could to preserve the health of Adnan.
The statement added a reiteration by Ashton of “the EU’s longstanding concern about the extensive use by Israel of administrative detention without formal charge. Detainees have the right to be informed of charges underlying any detention and to a fair trial, she added.
UN Special Rapporteur to the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk said Friday that “if Adnan is to die, a third intifada is to rise.” In an interview with Egyptian daily Al-Ahram. Falk decried the conditions in which Israel is holding the Palestinian prisoner, saying that if he died as a result of the strike he would be considered a martyr.
Falk also claimed that the international community was being hypocritical, comparing the “fuss” made over the case of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, who was held by by Hamas for over five years, to the relative silence surrounding Adnan.
Falk called for international intervention, specifically by Egypt, to ensure that Adnan stays alive.
Also Friday, several thousand Palestinians rallied in Gaza and the West Bank in support of Adnan.
“We are all Khader Adnan,” chanted crowds gathered in the Gaza Strip, with activists from the main political parties joining forces in a rare display of Palestinian unity.
Islamic Jihad, which advocates the destruction of the State of Israel, has said it will escalate violence if Adnan dies, following reports that his health was deteriorating.
Physicians for Human Rights in Israel (PHR), which has been monitoring Adnan’s condition in an Israeli hospital, said on Friday he was “in immediate danger of death,” adding that he had suffered “significant muscular atrophy.”
The IDF has said in a statement that Adnan was arrested “for activities that threaten regional security.” It has not given further details.
Reuters contributed to this report.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Palestinian hunger striker appeals to Israel’s Supreme Court
Catherine Ashton says EU is following Khader Adnan’s case ‘with great concern’; Adnan has been on hunger strike for 63 days to protest his administrative detention.
By The Associated Press
Tags: Israel police Palestinians Islamic Jihad
A Palestinian waging a hunger strike for an unprecedented 63 days has appealed to Israel’s Supreme Court, demanding to be released from months-long detention without trial, his lawyer said Saturday.
Khader Adnan is fighting a provision that allows Israel to hold detainees for months or even years without trial or formal charges. Israeli officials say they use so-called “administrative detention” to guard against immediate threats to the country’s security.
Adnan, a member of the militant group Islamic Jihad, has continued his hunger strike longer than any Palestinian detainee before him. His doctors warned this week that the 33-year-old might die soon.
“We are hoping … the Supreme Court hears this case urgently,” said Mahmoud Hassan, one of Adnan’s lawyers. “He could die before the court hearing happens.”
The court has not set a date for the hearing. Hassan said in previous cases, the high court at times reduced the sentence of administrative detainees on appeal, but rarely ordered them freed outright.
The hunger strike has transformed Adnan into a Palestinian hero, with thousands protesting in support of the once obscure bearded baker. The Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad has vowed revenge if Adnan dies, possibly by firing rockets into Israel from Gaza. The group has killed dozens of Israelis in suicide bombings and other attacks. Adnan was once a spokesman for the group. It’s unclear if he ever participated in any attacks.
Adnan is under guard in an Israeli hospital, where officials are monitoring his condition.
He is taking liquid infusions of salts, glucose and minerals, said the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights on Wednesday, citing his doctor. The group is overseeing his medical care.
Adnan is still lucid, but he has shed some 66 pounds (30 kilograms), his hair is falling out, his muscles have atrophied and he is in immediate danger of death, said the group’s doctor.
Adnan is serving four months in administrative detention. Israeli military judges can imprison defendants for up to six months at a time, with the possibility of renewing the detention order repeatedly. Defendants and their lawyers are not shown the alleged evidence against them.
An Israeli military judge rejected an appeal by Adnan last week, saying he reviewed the evidence and found the sentence to be fair.
On Saturday, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the bloc was following Adnan’s case with “great concern.”
“Detainees have the right to be informed about the charges underlying any detention and be subject to a fair trial,” Ashton said in a statement.
Israeli military officials generally use administrative detention to hold Palestinians who they believe are an imminent risk to the country’s security. They say if the evidence against the accused was made public, it would expose Israeli intelligence-gathering networks in the Palestinian Territories. They say the process is under full judicial review by Israel’s military and the Supreme Court.
Annan began his hunger strike on Dec. 18, a day after he was seized from his home in the northern West Bank town of Arabeh.
He told his lawyers that he was beaten and humiliated during arrest and interrogation.
Also Saturday, Palestinian militants fired three rockets from Gaza into Israel, officials said.
Israeli police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby said the rockets landed in an open area, causing no damage.
A years-old understanding between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers have halted much of the rocket fire from the coastal territory.