The Israeli right in parliament uses the global solidarity for Khader Adnan as a tool to promote ousting Palestinian MKs from Knesset and to criminalize Israelis who oppose Israeli policies.
On 21 February, Khader Adnan agreed to end a hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention and inhuman treatment by Israeli authorities. On his 66th day of strike, Adnan’s lawyers negotiated a deal with the Israeli military prosecutor that Adnan will be released on 17 April instead of 8 May, and that his administrative detention order would not be renewed.
Deputy Knesset Speaker Danny Danon (Likud) railed against this deal, saying it “set a dangerous precedent.” Danon also called for an immediate Knesset debate on the matter, saying prosecutors “capitulated to terrorism” and that “this deal renders the Israeli values system meaningless.”
In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, any Israeli army commander can issue an administrative detention order. While international law permits the use of administrative detention only in the most exceptional cases, as a last means available for preventing danger that cannot be thwarted by less harmful means, Israel’s use of administrative detention blatantly violates these restrictions. It is carried out under the thick cover of privilege, which denies detainees the possibility of mounting a proper defense. Over the years, Israel has administratively detained thousands of Palestinian for prolonged periods of time, without prosecuting them, without informing them of the charges against them and without allowing them or their attorneys to study the evidence, making a mockery of the protections specified in Israeli and international law to protect the right to liberty and due process, the right of defendants to state their case, and the presumption of innocence.
Israeli security services issue administrative detention orders when they do not want to reveal information regarding the identities of informers or infiltrators, or do not have evidence to convict a suspected person. The nature of this procedure makes it a shockingly easy tool to be used against political and social leaders who have not broken the law, but have expressed ideas against Israeli occupation practices.
According to Addameer, a prisoners support and human rights organization based in Ramallah, there are currently 309 Palestinian administrative prisoners.
Menachem Begin, the late leader of the Likud Party and its most important historical figure, denounced administrative detentions as “worse than the Nazi laws.” Begin also claimed that a concentration camp is any place where people are kept without a fair trial in a court of law.
In contrary to Begin’s tradition, MK Danny Danon (Likud) not only perceives the incarceration of people without trial as a legitimate tool, but accuses those who oppose it with treason. Danon initiated a Knesset debate on Palestinian Knesset members who visited Adnan in the hospital during his hunger strike.
According to Danon, “these Arab MKs have crossed all red lines, and now they decide to show solidarity with a terrorist and condemn Israel”. Danon invited the MKs “to join the terrorist in his hunger strike.”
Finally, Danon claimed that “this visit is the continuation of the terror help hotline run by Arab MKs out of the Knesset,” adding that “there is no doubt this is a continuation of the treacherous provocation of Arab Knesset members” accusing them of being “the politburo of Hamas in the Israeli Knesset.”
Richard Falk, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, wrote in an op-ed article published Al-Jazeera. In it, Falk contends that Israeli authorities have not shown the slightest respect “for the dignity of Mr. Adnan’s long hunger strike or sympathy for the acute suffering that accompanies such a determined foregoing of food for an extended period.”
Falk highlighted the fact that “Israelis call Mr. Adnan ‘a terrorist’ without charges or proof” and stressed that “Mr. Adnan’s prior arrests stemmed from militant peaceful demonstrations that landed him in Israeli jails eight times, and induced him to undertake shorter hunger strikes on three previous occasions, one as recently as 2010. From what we can tell, Mr. Adnan is a committed activist who has associated himself with Islamic Jihad, but works on a daily basis as a baker and maintains an admired strong family role.”
* This article was published by the Alternative Information Center (AIC)