Prominent Islamic Jihad leader dies in Israeli prison after hunger strike

[ Xinhua] A prominent leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement (PIJ) on Tuesday died in an Israeli prison after he went on a hunger strike for 86 days, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club Association, a non-governmental organization, said in a press statement that Khader Adnan died after a hunger strike for 86 days.

It is Adnan’s sixth hunger strike in Israeli prisons, where he had previously survived five to protest his arrest and administrative detention without trial.

A protestor holds a portrait of senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Khader Adnan following his death in an Israeli prison after a hunger strike, May 2, 2023. (Xinhua/Ayman Nobani)

His last hunger strike began on Feb. 5 after an Israeli army force stormed his house in Arraba, south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and arrested him for the sixth time.

The Israeli Prison Service said in a statement that Adnan, 45 years old, “was found unconscious in his cell in Nitzan prison.”

“A medical staff tried to resuscitate his heart before he was transferred to Assaf Harofeh Hospital, where his death was confirmed,” said the statement.

It added, “Adnan refused to undergo medical examinations and receive treatment during his hunger strike.”

Meanwhile, a member of the PIJ Political Bureau in Gaza, Muhammad Al-Hindi, said that his movement mourned Adnan and condemned his death in Israeli prisons.

“We hold the enemy responsible for the crime of assassinating Sheikh Khader Adnan, and the enemy will pay the price for this crime,” said Al-Hindi.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club Association, Adnan’s death brings the number of Palestinian prisoners who died in Israeli prisons to 237 since 1967, including 75 fatalities due to medical negligence.

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