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 (ICRC).
Khader Adnan has been on a hunger strike for 49 days to protest his being held in detention in an Israeli prison without charge or trial. Other prisoners have since joined the hunger strike.
It is the second time he has undertaken a prolonged hunger strike.
In 2012, Adnan went on a 66-day hunger strike to protest his administrative detention. He was later released in exchange for ending his hunger strike.
A prisoner can be held in administrative detention, without charges being brought, for up to four months.
“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.”
De Maio also called on Israeli authorities to allow Adnan’s family to visit him.
Adnan has been held by Israel for almost a year.
The warning comes as the Knesset debates versions of a bill that would allow the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners.