On May 2, 2023, senior PIJ member Khader Adnan died following a 86-day-long hunger strike and refusal to receive medical treatment from the Israeli Prisons Service. Adnan was arrested in February 2023 and indicted for membership in a terror group, supporting a terrorist organization, and incitement.
Palestinian, Israeli, and international NGOs falsely claimed that Adnan was “executed” and blamed Israel for his death. The NGOs conspicuously erased his PIJ leadership, except for some that celebrated his links to the violent terror group.
Crucially, and also omitted in the NGO versions, in a 2016 publication, the ICRC reiterated its position against force feeding hunger strikers:
“The ICRC is opposed to force feeding or any treatment which goes against a patient’s wishes because it is essential that detainees’ choices be respected at all times and their dignity preserved. Forced feeding of hunger strikers is never ethically acceptable. It is furthermore a violation of internationally accepted medical ethics and may lead to violations of international humanitarian law.
In its opposition to the forced feeding of hunger strikers, the ICRC bases its decision on policies approved by the World Medical Association in the Declaration of Tokyo (1975) and the WMA Malta Declaration as revised in 2006.”
Islamic Jihad advocacy
Adnan vocally and publicly supported terrorism against Israelis. For example, in October 2007, Adnan spoke at PIJ’s Al-Quds Brigades rally and said, “O Quds Brigades, strike a blow! O Quds Brigades, shake the earth! Who among you is Hasan Abu Zeid? [a suicide bomber who murdered 5 Israelis] Who among you is the next suicide bomber? Who among you will carry the next explosive belt? Who among you will fire the next bullets? Who among you will have his body parts blown all over?”
Following Adnan’s death, PIJ and Hamas launched rockets against Israeli towns and cities, “avenging” Adnan’s death. At least three civilians were injured in a barrage directed against the Israeli town of Sderot.
The following are examples of NGOs’ statements – all made on May 2 – on Adnan’s death:
- On May 2, 2023, Al-Haq published a statement by PHROC, according to which, “The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC) condemns the calculated and cold-blooded slow-killing of 45-year-old Khader Adnan—father, husband, Palestinian activist, and former prisoner—by the Israeli occupying authorities in the early hours of Tuesday, May 2, 2023. Khader was a reputed, revered, and resilient resistance actor within the Palestinian Prisoners’ Movement…PHROC views the killing of Khader Adnan as a premeditated murder by the state of Israel…”(emphases added).
- PHROC includes PFLP-linked NGOs Al-Haq, Addameer, Al-Dameer, Al-Mezan, DCI-P, and Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), as well as Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), Muatin Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, Hurryyat, and Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC).
- On May 2, Al-Haq Legal Researcher and Advocacy Officer Aseel Al Bajeh tweeted, “@alhaq_org, @Addameer & PHROC join the Adnan family in mourning & condemning his maryrdom & continue to pledge their unwavering commitment to resisting the structures of Israeli colonialism, occupation & apartheid— that directly bears the responsibility of Khader’s passing.”
- Since 2020, Al-Haq has received funding from Denmark, Sweden, EU, France, Italy and Norway.
- On May 2, 2023, PCHR published a statement, according to which, “The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) holds the Israeli authorities fully responsible for the death of the Palestinian detainee, Khader Adnan,” while accusing Israel of enacting “a decision to execute him premeditatedly.” (emphases added)
- Since 2020, PCHR has received funding from the European Union, Switzerland, and Norway.
Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)
- On May 2, 2023, PNGO released a statement, according to which, “PNGO holds the Israeli occupation authorities fully accountable for the martyrdom of prisoner 44-years-old Khader Adnan…PNGO noted that this crime affirms the length of insolence and vanity and the premeditated decision to assassinate Adnan, and it reveals the true despicable face of the occupation’s actions against our prisoner…”
- Since 2020, PNGO has received funding from the European Union.
- On May 2, 2023, Al-Dameer released a statement, according to which, “The occupation carried out a new crime, assassinating the detainee Khader Adnan… According to information obtained by Al-Dameer institution, the occupation’s prisons service intentionally assassinated 45-year-old Khader Adnan after an 86-days-long hunger strike by refusing to transfer him to a civilian hospital, and as a result he was martyred in his prison cell, and there is suspicion that he was forcefully fed, leading to his martyrdom…”
- Since 2020, Al-Dameer has received funding from Switzerland.
- On May 2, 2023, MIFTAH tweeted, “After 86 days of hunger strike protesting his detention with no charge or trial, Khader Adnan was killed by Israel’s cruel policy of administrative detention & deliberate medical negligence. Khader is the 234th Palestinian prisoner to die inside Israeli prisons. Rest in power.”
- Since 2020, MIFTAH has received funding from the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, UN, and Germany.
- On May 2nd, PHR-I tweeted, “Khader Adnan died tonight in prison after an 86-day hunger strike. For years, Adnan insisted on living freely despite facing oppression and occupation.” Later in the thread, PHR-I wrote, “Khader Adnan’s story demonstrates Israel’s fear of addressing the main issue against which Adnan protested for so many years – the injustices of the occupation.”
- Since 2020, PHR-I has received funding from Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United Nations.
- On May 2, 2023, B’Tselem tweeted, that “Khader ‘Adnan died in an Israeli prison while on hunger strike, a form of non-violent protest against his arrest and the injustices of the occupation.”
- Since 2020, B’Tselem has received funding from Norway, Switzerland, NGO Development Center (NDC), European Union, Spain, and the United Nations.
- On May 2, Amnesty tweeted, “The death of #KhaderAdnan, a father of 9, after 87 days on hunger strike, shines a light on Israel’s cruel treatment of Palestinian prisoners.”
- On May 2, Amnesty tweeted, “Khader Adnan has spent most of the last 10 years in prison, including long periods in administrative detention without charge or trial. Israel’s military justice system enforces #apartheid against Palestinians.”
Human Rights Watch (HRW)
- On May 2, HRW tweeted, “Palestinian Khader Adnan has died in Israeli detention after nearly three months on hunger strike protesting his prolonged detention. Adnan for years cycled in and out of Israeli detention, where he was often held without charge or trial…Israel’s sweeping use of administrative detention violates international law. This practice must end.”
- On May 2, Omar Shakir, HRW’s “Israel and Palestine director,” tweeted, “Make no mistake: Israel killed Khader Adnan. He valiantly struggled against injustice—multiple months-long hunger strikes against administrative detention—until his last breath. He never enjoyed a minute of freedom but dies w his head raised high. His resilience wont [sic] be forgotten.”
- On May 2, Samidoun tweeted, “Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network mourns the martyrdom of Sheikh Khader Adnan, 45, whose life was taken behind Zionist bars after 86 days of hunger strike in a Zionist assassination operation. This crime must not be allowed to pass without accountability.”
- In an article on its website, Samidoun stated that Adnan, “A leader in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, he became one of the most prominent symbols of the Palestinian prisoners’ movement and ongoing resistance…The martyrdom of Sheikh Khader Adnan, the symbol of dignity, freedom and steadfastness, is an Israeli assassination, carried out with forethought and premeditation.”
- On May 2, Ali Abunimah tweeted, “‘Israeli’ media reports that Khader Adnan has died after 86 days of hunger strike against his detention without charge or trial by the Zionist enemy occupier. This is an enormous crime. Adnan never wanted to die but to live free. Israel chose to murder him.”
- On May 2, Abunimah tweeted, “Enemy propaganda spreads lies about Khader Adnan to justify his murder by the invader regime. The enemy occupier never charged Adnan with a crime even in its kangaroo ‘courts.’”
- On May 3, JVP tweeted, “Gaza is under attack. After killing Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan with the barbaric system of administrative detention, the Israeli military is now bombing millions of Palestinians in Gaza, besieged by the Israeli military with nowhere to hide. This horror must end.”
- On May 3, JVP tweeted, “The Israeli military carries out these horrific attacks to terrorize Palestinians and silence any resistance, demonstrated bravely by Palestinians like Khader Adnan, in defiance of Israel’s apartheid regime. These systems of violence and devastation have to stop.”
- Donors include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Tides Foundation.
- On May 2, USCPR tweeted, “Sheikh Khader Adnan died in an Israeli prison today on his 87th day of hunger strike, in defiance of Israel’s ongoing repression. A general strike has been called today across Palestine. May Khader’s spirit of revolution live on, until Palestinian liberation & return.”
- Donors include the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.
- On May 3, AMP tweeted, “The powerful and heart-wrenching words of Palestine’s glorious Khader Adnan. His memory will only push to us to dismantle these oppressive colonial systems faster.”
- On May 2, AJP Action (an AMP affiliate) launched a petition to tell President Biden to “pressure an end to administrative detention immediately.” According to the petition, “As Palestinians mourn the assassination of a pillar in Palestinian resistance, we call on the U.S. to act on its commitment to human rights by taking firm action.”