Israel to release Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike

[JURIST] A Palestinian held without trial ended his 66-day hunger strike on Tuesday after Israeli authorities announced his release as part of a deal that avoids judicial review of the Israeli detention policy. The prisoner, Khader Adnan, is a 33-year-old member of the militant group Islamic Jihad who had been refusing food since his arrest in the West Bank in mid-December. He broke his hunger protest when he was promised to be released [Reuters report] in April if no new evidence is brought against him. A spokeswoman for the Israel Ministry of Justice [official website] confirmed that an agreement was reached and that Adnan will be released April 17. The deal came at a time shortly after Adnan had begun intravenous feeding and was believed to be in deteriorating health. This issue in particular has drawn concern from Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website], which called the April release "insufficient" [press release] and urged Israeli authorities to release him immediately to allow proper medical treatment. Adnan's protest is the longest hunger strike by a Palestinian detainee in history.

On Monday the Israel Supreme Court [official website] announced that it would hear Adnan's hunger strike case [JURIST report] despite a military judge rejecting his appeal in early February. The strike began and continued as a protest of Israel's policy of detaining Palestinian prisoners without bringing formal charges or presenting evidence and without a trial. These policies have long been criticized by human rights groups, including AI, which just last week called for the end of administrative detention in Israel [press release]. Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] similarly urged [JURIST report] Israel to amend its policies that forbid Palestinians from traveling through and living in Gaza and the West Bank.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.