On 23 February 2012, Khader Adnan broke his sixty-six day hunger strike after reaching a deal with Israel's Justice Ministry. Soldiers had arrested Adnan on 13 December and Israel had ordered him detained for four months but never charged him with a crime. The next day, he declared a hunger strike to protest Israel’s policy of administrative detention. As people involved with the campaign calling for the release of Adnan told us, he was “dying to live.”
Under Israeli law, authorities may hold Palestinians and Israelis under administrative detention for up to six months without charging them with a crime. Israel can renew this six-month term indefinitely, deport Palestinians to Israel, and incarcerate them in Israeli prisons, despite the fact that the Geneva Conventions, which Israel has signed, say it is illegal to transport prisoners across international borders. These detainees have no legal access to lawyers, and their cases do not come before a judge because they have not been accused of any crime. In order to visit, their families must obtain special permits allowing them to enter Israel through checkpoints. Often the Israeli authorities deny them these permits, and some detainees have never received a visit from family.
According to Amnesty International, Adnan “is one of 309 Palestinians currently held in administrative detention by the Israeli authorities, including one man held for over five years.”
Ahmed Ow+awi was arrested on 17 September 2011. Twenty-three years old, he is a father of three sons, Abdul Karim age four, Sewar, who is about to turn two, and Omar, who is eight months old. Ahmed’s experience with administrative detention started when he was eight years old, during the First Intifada. Since then, he has been in and out of Israeli prisons. For example, after his arrest in 2008, Israel extended his detention five times, totaling two years. Most of the two years, he spent in isolation cells.
Thousands of Palestinians and internationals, including Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), have called for Khader Adnan’s release, and the release of all individuals held in administrative detention. In Al Khalil/Hebron, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS), an organization formed by former prisoners, recently held a twenty-hour vigil calling for the end of administrative detention and freedom for all those unjustly detained. The PPS formed inside Israeli prisons to support the 5,000 political prisoners currently held within Israel, including those under administrative detention—each one dying to live.
CPT is urging people to support Amnesty International's Petition against administrative detention: http://www.amnesty.org/en/appeals-for-action-Israel-End-use-of-administrative-detention