Khader Adnan’s Hunger Strike: Palestinian Resistance, Steadfastness and Courage

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US Palestinian Community Network

Week of Action: February 19-26, 2012

Khader Adnan has been on hunger strike for 65 days – one day for each year of the occupation of Palestine; one day, one year, of steadfastness, resilience, resistance, and dignity in the face of occupation and oppression. His courage and commitment must inspire us all to act to amplify his message, support his action, demand his freedom – and the freedom of Palestine.

"I hereby assert that I am confronting the occupiers not for my own sake as an individual, but for the sake of thousands of prisoners who are being deprived of their simplest human rights while the world and international community look on...It is time the international community and the UN support prisoners and force the State of Israel to respect international human rights and stop treating prisoners as if they were not humans." – Khader Adnan, from his hospital bed

BACKGROUND

Khader Adnan was abducted by Israeli occupation soldiers on December 17, 2011 at 3:30 am. Addameer reports:

"Before entering his house, soldiers used the driver that takes Khader's father to the vegetable market, Mohammad Mustafa, as a human shield by forcing him to knock on the door of the house and call out Khader's name while blindfolded. A huge force of soldiers then entered the house shouting. Recognizing Khader immediately, they grabbed him violently in front of his two young daughters and ailing mother."

He was then taken to interrogation, where interrogators forced him into stress positions, ripped out chunks of his beard and rubbed his face with dirt as they insulted his wife, sister, children and mother. Throughout this ordeal, he refused to say a word to his interrogators or take a bite of food. He was never charged with any crime, but instead placed in administrative detention, a mechanism in which Palestinian prisoners are held for months at a time, renewable again and again, without charge or trial, on the basis of secret evidence.

Since then, Khader Adnan has been on hunger strike for 63 days. Past 50 days, a hunger striker is in immediate danger of organ failure and death. He has lost eighty pounds, cannot walk, and remains shackled hand and foot to his hospital bed. And still he insists upon his strike, upon his humanity and dignity in the face of a system that would obliterate it.

ACTION

While the Western media has been almost entirely silent about the case of Khader Adnan, he has become an international symbol of resistance to injustice through grassroots movements and social media. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Carter Center have joined the call for his release.

Khader Adnan is demanding not only his release but the end of administrative detention. He is one of 307 administrative detainees and nearly 4500 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. 40% of Palestinian men in the West Bank and Gaza have spent time in the occupation's jails. Palestinian prisoners have long utilized the hunger strike as a mechanism of struggle, and Khader Adnan is the latest – and longest-term – inheritor of that great and heroic tradition of the Palestinian prisoners' movement. The Palestinian prisoners have always been the conscience of the Palestinian national liberation movement, and Khader Adnan's steadfastness is the emblematic example of that role.Khader's struggle and sacrifice calls us home to the fundamentals of the struggle, to the freedom of our people and our land, the return of our refugees, to opening the gates of the occupier's prisons, and must call us now to action.

Protests have taken place in many cities in the past weeks and thousands of letters have been written. At this critical time, the next week – February 19-26, 2012 must be a week of action for Khader Adnan and all Palestinian prisoners. On Monday, February 20, join AMP, USPCN and others in a national day of fasting for Khader Adnan. Hundreds have already joined a "Fasting for Freedom" campaign and protests are planned in New York, Oakland, Los Angeles and elsewhwere. We call on all USPCN chapters and members, the Palestinian community, and the supporters and friends of the Palestinian people to:

1. Join and organize such actions at Israeli embassies and consulates, in public squares, on campuses, and in communities. Join in the solidarity hunger strikes and Fasts for Freedom. Please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send us the Facebook link to your events.

2. Organize call-in centers and hunger strike events to bring together solidarity fasters and people calling the State Department. Please email us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send us the Facebook link and we will publicize your call-in centers.

3. Continue the Social Media and Twitter campaigns to publicize the case of #KhaderAdnan. The twitter hashtag #HungerStrike63Days trended worldwide today – when the mainstream media is silent, we must speak in our own voices.

4. Continue the phone-call and letter pressure. Call the office of Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs at 202.647.7209 and insist the US take a stand and demand that Israel release Khader Adnan and end the practice of administrative detention. Write letters to the occupation authority to make it clear that thousands around the world are with Khader Adnan: http://samidoun.ca/2012/02/take-action-for-hunger-striking-palestinian-prisoner-khader-adnan/ and sign the petition to the International Committee of the Red Cross: http://signon.org/sign/khader-adnans-life-at-1?source=c.fwd&r_by=2447156

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