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Middle East
Israel court to hear hunger striker's appeal
Supreme Court brings forward case of Khader Adnan, detained without charge, as he battles for life after 66-day fast.
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2012 07:34
Palestinians jailed in Israel are to stage a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with Adnan [Reuters]

Israel’s Supreme Court is set to hear an urgent appeal for the release of Khader Adnan, a Palestinian detained without charge, who has been on hunger strike for more than nine weeks, his lawyer said.

The court had been due to address the appeal on Thursday but the case was brought forward by two days following an appeal by lawyer Jawad Bulus on behalf of his client.

Last week, Bulus lodged an urgent appeal with the court to lift the administrative detention order on Adnan, who on Monday marked his 65th day of a hunger strike over his detention.

The court at first said it would hear the case on February 23. But Bulus made a fresh appeal on Monday to advance the hearing, prompting the court to reschedule the hearing, a court spokeswoman said.

Palestinians jailed in Israel are to stage a 24-hour hunger strike in solidarity with Adnan, the association of Palestinian prisoners said. Marches and demonstrations are also planned for Tuesday in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

'Apply pressure on Israel'

Randa Adnan, his wife, told Al Jazeera on Sunday: "I still have hope that he will be released and come back home healthy."

in depth: No food without freedom

  Feature: Randa Adnan: 'I still have hope'
  Op-ed: Saving his life is saving our own soul
  Op-ed: Starving for freedom
  Support grows for Palestinian hunger striker

Earlier, Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, urged world leaders to pressure Israel to free Adnan.

"I sent messages to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton today, and spoke with the EU and Chinese envoys," Erakat told AFP news agency.

"I asked them all to intervene in Adnan's case. They must apply pressure on Israel to release him," he said.

Israel arrested Adnan, a 34-year-old baker, on December 17 near the northern West Bank town of Jenin, where he once served as a spokesman for the Palestinian group, Islamic Jihad.

He told lawyers and human rights organisations that masked soldiers violently broke into his house, where his mother and children were present.

Adnan said that his hands were shackled behind him and that he was thrown onto the floor of the military jeep and kicked and slapped by soldiers while they took him to the settlement of Mevo Dotan.

He began refusing food a day after his arrest and is now said to be in critical condition.

Widespread condemnation

World leaders have expressed growing concern over the fate of the prisoner, who is being held without charge under a procedure known as "administrative detention".

There are currently more than 300 Palestinians being held in administrative detention by Israel, without charge or trial, for renewable periods of six months, without any way of defending themselves.

Palestinian officials have warned that his death in custody could start a violent backlash, while a spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons Service said on Sunday that they were "constantly monitoring" the situation.

"We understand the implications of this case," Sivan Weizman said.

But on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office went on the offensive, with a spokesman describing Adnan as "a dangerous terrorist" despite the fact he has yet to be charged with any security offences.

Until now, Adnan has not been charged and the military court that approved Adnan's detention has refused to release any details on the reason for his arrest or ongoing imprisonment.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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