Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who was affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, has died in an Israeli prison after nearly three months on a hunger strike, Israeli prison officials said.
Adnan “refused to undergo medical tests and receive medical treatment” and “was found unconscious in his cell” in the early morning on Tuesday, the Israeli prison service said.
Adnan began his hunger strike shortly after being arrested on February 5.
He had gone on hunger strike several times after previous arrests, including a 55-day strike in 2015 to protest his arrest under so-called administrative detention, in which suspects are held indefinitely by Israel without charge or trial.
Israel is currently holding more than 1,000 Palestinian detainees without charge or trial, the highest number since 2003, according to the Israeli human rights group HaMoked.
Khader Adnan has been executed in cold blood,” the WAED Prisoners Association in Gaza told the Reuters news agency upon hearing of Adnan’s death.
Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Adnan, 44, from the town of Arraba near Jenin city in the occupied West Bank, had refused to eat for 87 days to protest against his detention without charge, according to the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society.
This is a very dangerous thing that has happened,” said Mustafa Barghouti, the former Palestinian information minister and general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative political party.
The Israeli government and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir “are personally responsible for this act of assassination”, Barghouti told Al Jazeera.
“I call it an act of assassination because the Israeli government knew very well, and its military courts, that a person who is on hunger strike for 87 days, who had not received any kind of medical care, could die at any moment. And that’s exactly what has happened,” Barghouti said.