43 days ago Khader Adnan launched his latest hunger strike for collective dignity and rights. Adnan’s name has been intrinsically linked with the hunger strikes of Palestinian political prisoners since his infamous 66 day hunger strike that began in late 2011 and led to his eventual release from Administrative Detention in April 2012.
Adnan’s 2012 hunger strike eventually drew significant international support which helped pressurise Israeli towards his release. Similarly, a mass hunger strike by political prisoners last year drew widespread grassroots support and activism within Palestine which was supported by notable international campaigns.
During Adnan’s current hunger strike however, the response from the Palestinian street seems noticeably quieter amidst growing political malaise and despondency. Events in solidarity with Adnan are being held across Palestinian cities yet to date are not drawing huge numbers. The international media also remains largely silent on the subject.
On Sunday, the Israeli cabinet approved a bill permitting the force-feeding of hunger strikers in Israeli prisons. Israel’s Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan who led the bill, was reported by Maan News to have posted his ‘justification’ for the bill on his Facebook page when he wrote, “Alongside attempts to boycott and delegitimize Israel, hunger strikes of terrorists in prisons have become a means to threaten Israel”.
Despite the all-too-common ease with which Israeli officials throw around the ‘terrorist’ label, Khader Adnan remains to this day, having spent more than 6 years of his life since 1999 in Israeli prisons, as an Administrative Detention detainee and thus without any formal charges laid against him, even by Israel’s notorious military court system.
Medical reports say that Khader Adnan is now in critical condition.
Images by MEMO photographer Rich Wiles.