Khader Adnane, a senior leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Islamic Jihad, who had been on a hunger strike for more than 80 days to protest his detention by Israel, died on Tuesday (May 2), concurring sources said.
The Israeli prison administration announced in a statement the death of a prisoner affiliated with Islamic Jihad, "found unconscious in his cell" and then hospitalized. The Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Prisoners Club, an association for the defense of the rights of Palestinians detained by Israel, confirmed to Agence France-Presse (AFP) the death of Khader Adnane at the age of 45.
The President of the Palestinian Prisoners Club, Qaddoura Fares, told AFP that it was the first Palestinian detainee to die in custody in Israel from a hunger strike.
Shortly after the announcement of his death, rockets were fired on Tuesday morning towards Israel, from the Gaza Strip where Islamic Jihad is very present, AFP journalists noted. Israel "will pay the price for this crime," said Islamic Jihad, a movement considered "terrorist" by Israel, the United States and the European Union, in a statement.
"The free hero, Khader Adnane, died a martyr due to a crime committed by the enemy in front of the world, which approves of injustice and terrorism, protects it and covers it," added Islamic Jihad.
Imprisoned many times
Khader Adnane began his hunger strike on February 5 and “refused to undergo medical examinations and receive treatment,” according to the Israel Prisons Service. Originally from the northern occupied West Bank, he had been imprisoned numerous times by Israel and had gone on several hunger strikes, becoming a symbol for the Palestinians.
On Friday, his wife Randa Moussa explained to AFP that he refused "any assistance, any medical examination". “He is in a cell where the conditions of detention are very difficult. [Israel] refused to transfer him to a civilian hospital and to allow his lawyer to visit,” she added.