February 20, 2012
Lawyers for Khader Adnan have reached a deal with Israel for Adnan to be released on 17 April, Addameer announced today via Twitter. Khader Adnan has agreed to end his hunger strike. Addameer said the deal appears to meet minimum conditions Adnan had previously communicated to lawyers.
Adnan has been on hunger strike for 66 days against his "administrative detention" by Israel without charge or trial. Addameer is a Palestinian prisoners rights group whose lawyers have been closely following Adnan’s case.
According to the deal, Adnan will be released on 17 April – three weeks before the original 8 May expiry of his current administrative detention order. But under the deal his admistrative detention order would not be renewed. Israel has typically renewed administrative detention orders repeatedly.
Early reports in some media reports said Adnan had agreed to end his hunger strike, but as of just before 4pm local time in Palestine, Addameer tweeted in Arabic that a lawyer for the group was waiting for permission to visit Adnan to "confirm his decision."
Just before 5pm local time, Addameer tweeted in Arabic that its lawyers had still not been allowed to see Khader Adnan:
Prison authorities are still preventing Addameer’s lawyer from entering to visit the prisoner, and we have received no decision from Khader Adnan about stopping the hunger strike.
Final confirmation came this evening from Physicians for Human Rights - Israel, one of whose doctors visited Adnan.
The Associated Press reported that it had spoken to Randa Adnan, Khader’s wife:
Adnan’s wife, Randa, was ecstatic over the news.
"This is of course a victory," she said in a telephone interview. "The Israelis had no proof and that’s why they’ve agreed to these four months," she said. She laughed, and supporters could be heard screaming with joy in the background.
"He’s shown by his steadfastness that we can be victorious," she said.
A press release from Addameer gave more information about the possible shape of a deal:
On Khader’s 66th day of hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention and inhuman and degrading treatment by the Israeli authorities, one of Khader’s lawyers negotiated a deal with the Israeli military prosecutor that Khader will be released on 17 April instead of 8 May and that his administrative detention order will not be renewed. Addameer lawyer Samer Sam’an is actively working to gain permission to visit Khader to confirm whether or not he will continue with his hunger strike.
Khader previously stated to Addameer lawyers that though he was calling for his immediate and unconditional release, the minimum requirements he would consider for ending his hunger strike would be the guarantee that he would not receive a new administrative detention order and that his duration of detention would be considered from the date of his arrest on 17 December 2011 and not from the date that he received his administrative detention order on 8 January 2012. The provisions of the deal reached today as announced by the lawyer involved do meet these minimum requirements.
Addameer reiterated grave concern for Adnan’s health even if he ends his hunger strike:
Addameer’s main concern remains Khader’s health, in critical condition after over two months of hunger strike. Whether or not Khader continues his hunger strike, he must receive proper arrangements for observing his health condition, which will likely now have irreversible consequences. If he does decide to end his hunger strike, the potential complications from such a protracted hunger strike will require urgent and trusted care, which can only be provided if he is released.
Confirming deal, Israel government spokesman also repeats baseless accusations
News of the deal was confirmed by Israeli government spokesperson Ofir Gendleman over Twitter. Gendleman stated that Khader Adnan "will finish his sentence on April 17, if there’s no new evidence. If he returnes to violence & terror, he will be arrested again" and in a second tweet stated, "The Supreme Court did not decide to release #khaderadnan. His attorney reached an agreement w/ the State prosecution. He wasn’t exhonerated."
Gendleman’s allegations against Adnan it must be noted are just that. Adnan was never charged with any crime by Israel, and it seems unlikely Israel would release him if it had any evidence whatsoever to back up such lurid claims. Nor has Adnan been "sentenced" - a term usually used in relation to punishment for a crime of which a person has been convicted.
Earlier this morning, Aljazeera English had caused confusion by reporting that Adnan was to be released before it had been confirmed. Even now, the information is somewhat confusing, and should be treated with caution until more emerges.
This post will be updated as information becomes available.
Tweets from Addameer with details of deal
Tweets from Israeli government spokesman Ofir Gendleman
Court decision to cancel Adnan’s appeal hearing
The Supreme Court issued the following decision today:
We have been delivered a joint notice by the representative of the Appellant and the representative of the Respondents, according to which there is no intention to extend the administrative detention beyond 17 April 2012, and (after offsetting the days of detention during which the Appellant was subjected to a criminal investigation), subject to the absence of new and significant material being added in the matter of the Appellant. In light of the above, the Appellant has ended his hunger strike and declared his retraction of the appeal.This being the case, the appeal is stricken, and the hearing schedule for today is thereby cancelled
Original Hebrew and English translation are linked.
Hunger strike ended
Ran Cohen, the executive director for Physicians for Human Rights - Israel, has confirmed that Khader Adnan has ended his hunger strike.