JERUSALEM (JTA) — A hunger-striking Palestinian inmate in an Israeli prison is at “immediate risk” of death, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Khader Adnan, 37, has been on a hunger strike for 49 days to protest his being held in detention without charge or trial. Other prisoners have since joined the strike.
“We are concerned that his life is at immediate risk,” Jacques de Maio, the head of the ICRC’s delegation in Israel and the occupied territories, said in a statement. “Any solution must, however, take into account the necessity of protecting the detainee’s moral and physical integrity; it should also be kept in mind that under resolutions adopted by the World Medical Association, a detainee is entitled to choose whether to be fed or receive medical treatment. So, it is essential that a detainee’s choice be respected and his or her dignity is preserved.”
The warning comes as the Knesset debates versions of a bill that would allow the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners.
De Maio also called on Israeli authorities to allow Adnan’s family to visit him.
A prisoner can be held in administrative detention, without charges being brought, for up to six months, but the detention can be renewed indefinitely.
It is the second time that Adnan has undertaken a prolonged hunger strike. In 2012, he went on a 66-day strike to protest his administrative detention. Adnan was later released in exchange for ending his hunger strike.
He has been held by Israel since being rearrested nearly a year ago for “activities that threaten regional security.”