A high-profile Palestinian prisoner, Khader Adnan, died in Israeli custody on Tuesday after a nearly three-month hunger strike, announced by Israel’s prison service AP. Adnan was a leader in the Islamic Jihad militant group, and his death raises the potential for renewed violence between Israel and Palestinian militant groups.
Rocket Fire and General Strike Calls
Following the announcement of Adnan’s death, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets into southern Israel. Palestinians called for a general strike in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with protests expected later in the day.
Hunger Strikes as a Form of Protest
Palestinian prisoners have been staging protracted hunger strikes for years to protest their detentions and seek concessions from Israel. The prisoners often become dangerously ill, but deaths are rare. Adnan is the first Palestinian prisoner to die after such hunger strikes began about a decade ago.
Administrative Detention Controversy
Israel is currently holding over 1,000 Palestinian detainees without charge or trial, the highest number since 2003, according to the Israeli human rights group HaMoked HaMoked. Palestinians and rights groups argue that the administrative detention system is widely abused and denies due process. Israel contends that the tactic helps authorities thwart attacks and hold dangerous militants without divulging incriminating material for security reasons.