Khader Adnan: Day 60 and Counting
by Stephen Lendman
On February 15, Palestinian faction leaders began supportive hunger strikes. Gazans erected a sit-in tent near ICRC’s Gaza City offices.
Islamic Jihad leaders Sheikh Nafth Azzam, Ahmad Al-Mudallal, Dawood Shihab and Khader Habit joined with others and civil society organization members.
Al-Mudallal said striking “support(s) the battle of dignity of Sheikh Khader Adnan. This is the least we can do (for) this legendary symbol.”
Palestinian Authority civil affairs minister Hussein al-Sheikh said PA officials were trying to free him and hold Israel responsible for his well-being.
Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqa called for demonstrations, protest marches, and solidarity fasts throughout the Territories.
Hundreds of Palestinians began supportive hunger strikes. Many rallied in Gaza and West Bank towns. Ofer Prison detainees joined them. Israeli security forces attacked protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets. Palestinian National Initiative head Mustafa Barghouti was wounded in his foot.
Adnan’s a political prisoner, detained since mid-December but not charged. On his 60th day without food, a mass call for action urged support to help free him. He symbolizes Israeli brutality, injustice and lawlessness. He inspired others saying:
“For every gram you lose from your weight, we gain a thousand grams in our dignity.”
Many support him globally and responded. He hasn’t yet slipped into coma, but remains perilously close to death.
A February 14 Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) press release said Adnan’s High Court appeal will be heard. His lawyer filed an urgent petition. A hearing will be set shortly.
PHR-I examined him five times in the past week, most recently on February 14. After 52 days without food, he lost one-third of his weight. As a result, he has stomach aches, vomits, at times with blood, and experiences headaches.
He’s still lucid and understands what’s happening. “His general condition is pale and very weak. His tongue is smooth. He has slight bleeding from the gums, dry skin, loss of hair, and significant muscular atrophy.”
His pulse is weak, his blood pressure 100/75. He’s connected to a heart monitor. He underwent tests and treatment. It includes liquids, salts, glucose, and vitamins. However, he won’t ingest food.
His condition “is commensurate with the impact of 60 days of fasting.” He’s in immediate danger of death. No food over 50 days causes muscle decomposition, including heart and stomach muscles. As a result, toxin build-ups follow. “Death may occur suddenly” from heart failure or infection following immune system collapse.
Digestive track bleeding as well as renal and hepatic failure may follow. “A deterioration in his state of consciousness can be expected due to the shortage of vitamins and intracerebral hemorrhage.”
Fasts exceeding 70 days prevent survival. “Infusion of liquids, adjustment of salts, and the addition of glucose and vitamin(s) cannot prevent certain death due” to protracted periods without food.
On February 15, Richard Falk, Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestinian human rights released a supportive statement, saying:
“I call on the international community, especially States with close relations with Israel, to urge the Israeli Government to fulfill its responsibilities under international law, most urgently with regard to Mr. Adnan.”
“In view of the emergency of his situation, the Government of Israel must take immediate and effective action to safeguard Mr. Adnan’s life, while upholding his rights.”
On February 20, following his regional visit, he’ll hold a press conference. In June, he’ll submit his report to the UN Human Rights Council.
For now, saving Adnan’s top priority. Perhaps Israel will yield to world pressure. It’s unlikely but possible. Rogue states don’t apologize or do the right thing.
Israeli state terror matches the world’s worst. With Washington and Britain, they’re axis of evil partners.
Torturing Adnan to death shows it. His martyrdom won’t go unnoticed.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.