JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Khader Adnan, a member of the militant Palestinian group Islamic Jihad who was charged with terrorism by Israel, died in an Israeli jail on Tuesday after an 87-day hunger strike, prison authorities said.
Israel said Adnan “refused to undergo medical examinations and receive medical treatment” and was “found unconscious in his cell” early Tuesday morning.
The Israeli prison authorities said that Adnan was taken to hospital after failed attempts to save him and declared dead. Adnan’s lawyer accused Israel of medical negligence.
36 days after Adnan was arrested, we demanded that he be transferred to a civilian hospital where he could be followed up properly. “Unfortunately, this request was met with intransigence and rejection by the Israeli prison authorities,” lawyer Jamil al-Khatib told Reuters by phone.
Shortly after the announcement of Adnan’s death, sirens sounded in the Israeli communities bordering Gaza, prompting residents to flee for shelter. The Israeli army said that three rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory, but they landed in open areas.
Our fight continues, and the enemy will realize once again that his crimes will not go unanswered. “The resistance will continue with full force and determination,” the Islamic Jihad movement said in a statement.
Adnan, 45, from the occupied city of Jenin, was a well-known figure in the Islamic Jihad movement in the West Bank, which Israel occupied in the 1967 war. Like the Islamic Hamas movement, the Islamic Jihad movement opposes the peace agreements between the Palestinians and Israel and calls for the destruction of Israel.
According to the Palestinian Prisoners Association, Adnan was detained by Israel 12 times, and he spent nearly eight years in prison, most of which were under administrative detention.
Israel accused Adnan of supporting terrorism, belonging to an armed group and incitement. He went on hunger strike at least five times during his various periods of detention since 2004.
(Reporting by Emily Rose and Nidal al-Maghrabi). Editing by Kim Coghill
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