International reactions have poured in following the death of Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who had been on an almost three-month hunger strike.
The prominent Palestinian, affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, was found unconscious in his cell early on Tuesday morning.
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The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Israel and the occupied territories expressed their condolences to Adnan’s family, calling for Israel to release his body.
“We call on the Israeli authorities to release Mr Adnan’s body, so his family can mourn and arrange a dignified burial according to their customs and beliefs,” the ICRC said in a statement Tuesday.
The organisation had visited the detainee several times since his arrest in February to monitor his condition.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman reacted to the “martyrdom” of Adnan in a statement, saying that it depicted the righteousness of Palestinian resistance.
“The way this Palestinian citizen was arrested and the inhumane treatment he received from the Zionist regime [Israel] is a clear example of the inhumane and violent behaviour that the regime has used against the Palestinian nation and fighters for over seven decades in an organised and widespread manner, and constitutes a crime against humanity,” said Nasser Kanani.
“The silence of the global community and human rights organisations will lead to the increasing audacity of the apartheid Zionist regime,” the spokesman added.
The Iran-backed Lebanese Shia group, Hezbollah, also released a statement offering condolences on Adnan’s passing, and calling for the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners.
The group lauded Adnan’s “long march full of steadfastness” and “resistance” against Israel’s “arbitrary practices”, decrying the years he spent in prison undergoing “abuse and terrorism”, according to a statement published by Al-Manar, the party’s press agency.
United Kingdom MP Francie Molloy, an Irish politician with the Sinn Féin party, tweeted in reaction to Adnan’s death.
“They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Palestinian who doesn’t want to be broken,” Molloy said.
Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan has died after 86 days of hunger strike. RIP
They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Palestinian who doesn’t want to be broken. pic.twitter.com/yFSDorICsY
— Francie Molloy MP (@FrancieMolloy) May 2, 2023
Reaction among Palestinians was also rife.
His death is considered an “assassination” by Palestinians, Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim said, because he was a political activist whose hunger strikes were a protest against Israeli imprisonment without charge.
Islamic Jihad warned Israel that it will “pay the price for this crime”.
Other Palestinian groups including Hamas, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and a leader from the Fatah party all condemned Israel’s role in his death.
Meanwhile, the Palestine Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for an international investigation into Adnan’s death, while the Palestine Authority’s Ministry of Detainees and Ex-Detainees Affairs suspended work on Tuesday to protest his death.
Adnan began his hunger strike shortly after his February arrest.
The father of nine had been arrested 12 times during his life and had undertaken hunger strike actions several times while in Israeli prisons, including a 55-day strike in 2015 to protest his detention without charge.
Israel is currently holding more than 1,000 Palestinian detainees without charge or trial, the highest number since 2003, according to the Israeli human rights group HaMoked.