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Hunger striking Palestinian prisoner's appeal brought forward

Khader Adnan, 33, stopped eating in mid-December over Israel’s ‘administrative detention’.

Maali Adnan, 4, holds a picture of her father during a recent solidarity protest in Arrabeh, the West Bank.
Maali Adnan, 4, holds a picture of her father during a recent solidarity protest in Arrabeh, the West Bank.
Image: AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas/PA Images

ISRAEL’S SUPREME COURT has rescheduled the appeal hearing of a Palestinian prisoner who has begun a tenth week of his hunger strike protest.

The hearing was due to take place on Thursday, but has been brought forward to tomorrow, according to a statement from the court. It did not specify why the hearing was being rescheduled.

Khader Adnan, 33, has lost 30 kilos since he stopped eating in mid-December in protest over Israel’s policy of long-term detention without trial. Under ‘administrative detention’, Israeli authorities can hold prisoners without charge or trial for up to six months. The detention periods can also be renewed.

He was arrested on 17 December and has been sentenced to four months of administrative detention. His protest began on 18 December.

According to Adnan’s family, he is a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group responsible for killing dozens of Israelis, but it is not known if he was involved in violence. Adnan says he does not know what he is accused or suspected of doing.

On Friday, Al Jazeera reported that the Israeli military had issued a statement saying that Adnan was arrested over activities that threaten regional security, adding that a judicial review had approved the arrest warrant.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch called on Israeli authorities to either release Adnan or charge him. HRW said his family and doctors had said that his health had seriously deteriorated since he began the hunger strike on 18 December.

The organisation says that a 2006 British Medical Association study of hunger strikes in Northern Ireland found that death generally occurred between 55 and 75 days, and that the ‘final stage’ of the strike came between 45 and 75 days due to the physical impact of the food deprivation.

The EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said over the weekend that the EU was following Adnan’s case with great concern, and called on the Israeli government “to do all it can to preserve the health of Mr Adnan in its continuing handling of this case”.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Adnan has been in prison nine times over five years and that this is his first detention in which his wife Randa has been permitted to visit him. She told the newspaper that her husband hasn’t told her what will make him end his strike.

- Additional reporting by the AP

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