Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign
التضامن الإيرلندي الفلسطيني

IPSC condemns Israel, and international complicity, in death of Palestinian hunger-striker Khader Adnan

The Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) condemns the Apartheid State of Israel for overseeing the death by hunger strike of Palestinian political prisoner Khader Adnan. Adnan, 45, died yesterday after an 87-day hunger strike in protest at his unlawful detention without charge or trial.

We in the IPSC echo the view of the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council that this was a “calculated and cold-blooded slow-killing.” Adnan’s death was a form of ‘murder by negligence’, and it is no surprise it has come at a time when Israel is moving to implement a new law that will allow executions of Palestinian political prisoners.

Hungering for justice

A husband and father of nine, Adnan was repeatedly arrested arbitrarily and held in administrative detention -a form of indefinite internment without charge- by apartheid Israel’s occupation forces, spending a total of more than 8 years in Apartheid Israel’s jails.

Since 2004 Adnan had undertaken numerous hunger strikes, as a means both of resisting the ordeals he was being subjected to, and highlighting the brutal treatment meted out to Palestinian prisoners by Israel. In 2012 he embarked on a 66-day hunger strike that ended with his release, albeit only temporarily, and which inspired other prisoners to embark on further hunger strikes.

These repeated hunger strikes added to his medical vulnerability, and compounded the negligence of Israeli authorities who denied him healthcare, refusing to transfer him to a civilian hospital despite the dangerous deterioration in his health. He was routinely held in isolation and subjected to physical and emotional assault; he was also denied family visits. The blame for his death lies squarely at the hands of Apartheid Israel’s authorities who have subjected him to years of detention, torture, abuse and negligence.

Human rights organisations, including prisoner advocacy groups such as Addameer, not only consistently warned the Israeli authorities of the threat to Adnan’s life, but also repeatedly alerted the international community including at the UN Human Rights Council session last month.

International inaction and international complicity

Adnan’s death comes at a time when there are some 4,900 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, dozens of whom are suffering serious illness. There are over 1,000 administrative detainees, held indefinitely without charge or trial, 30 women and 160 child prisoners. As we heard from prominent lawyer, human rights defender and former political prisoner Salah Hammouri who toured Ireland last month, conditions in Israeli prisons are brutal, violent, negligent and deteriorating. Medical neglect is endemic and 237 Palestinian prisoners have died in Israel’s prisons since 1967.

There is international complicity, from both states and private entities, in all of this.

The consistent and continued failure of the international community, including Ireland, to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people has contributed to Adnan’s death, and those of more than 100 people, including 20 children murdered by Israeli forces this year. Indeed, the EU’s drive to forge an ever closer relationship with Israel while it practices the Crime of Apartheid can only be seen as a form of complicity in the oppression of Palestinians.

In addition, multinational company Hewlett Packard (HP) provides services and technology to both the Israel Prison Service which oversaw Adnan’s death, and to Israel’s colonial police force that incarcerates so many Palestinians; HP cannot escape its complicity in propping up the architecture of Israeli Apartheid, and its products and services should be boycotted by those who support Palestinian rights.

Israel’s impunity must end

It is now 75 years since the Palestinian Nakba; three quarters of a century during which Palesitnians have been subjected to colonisation, ethnic cleansing, occupation, war crimes, mass incarceration, dispossession and apartheid by Israel.

International impunity guarantees a continuation of Israeli crimes.

We call on the Irish government to demand an independent investigation into Khader Adnan’s death, and to act to ensure that Israeli authorities abide by international humanitarian law, especially the Fourth Geneva Convention, and adhere to the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.

We call on the Irish government to demand an immediate end to Israel’s illegal practice of administrative detention, and to take action to ensure this cruel practice is ceased.

We further call on the Irish government to recognise that Israel is practising the Crime of Apartheid, to enact the Occupied Territories Bill, and to take meaningful action against Israel for its system of racist colonial violence.

We call on HP to divest itself from all its contracts that help Israel maintain its system of apartheid, especially its provision of services and technology to Israel’s brutal prison service and its racist and murderous colonial police force.

We call on the people of Ireland to support the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment and Sanction campaign, and in particular to pledge to boycott the products and services of HP.

We extend our deepest condolences to Khader Adnan’s family, and send our solidarity to the Palestinian people as they mourn Khader Adnan’s death, and salute their steadfastness in their heroic fight for freedom, justice and equality.

To quote anti-colonial Irish freedom fighter Terence MacSwiney, who died in a British colonial prison in 1920 after a 74-day hunger strike, “it is not those who can inflict the most, but those who can endure the most, who will conquer.”

Free, Free Palestine!

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