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Israel must be held accountable for Khader Adnan’s killing: UN experts

Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Khader Adnan gestures as he speaks during a rally honoring him following his release, near the West Bank city of Jenin, on July 12, 2015. (Photo by Reuters)

Two United Nations experts have called for Israel to be held accountable for the murder of a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad movement, Khader Adnan, who embraced martyrdom at an Israeli jail following an 87-day hunger strike.

Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, and Tlaleng Mofokeng, UN special rapporteur on the right to health, made the appeal on Wednesday, denouncing as “cruel” and “inhumane” Israel’s mass arbitrary detention of Palestinians.

“There must be accountability for the killing of the 45-year-old Palestinian hunger striker Khader Adnan,” the experts said.

“The death of Khader Adnan is a tragic testament to Israel’s cruel and inhumane detention policy and practices, as well as the international community’s failure to hold Israel accountable in the face of callous illegalities perpetrated against Palestinian inmates,” they added. 

The experts further noted that they could not separate Israel’s prison policies from  “the colonial nature of its occupation, intended to control and subjugate all Palestinians in the territory Israel wants to control.”

“The systematic practice of administrative detention is tantamount to a war crime of willfully depriving protected persons of the rights of fair and regular trial, they said.

The experts further stressed that it is more urgent than ever for the international community to hold Israel accountable for its illegal acts in the occupied territory and stop the normalization of war crimes, which have become a daily reality in the lives of Palestinians.

Adnan was detained on February 5 and immediately went on hunger strike in protest against his illegal detention.

He was suffering from severe health problems as a result of the strike, including frequent vomiting of blood, severe weakness, frequent loss of consciousness, difficulty in speaking, movement, sleep and concentration, and severe pain all over his body. 

Adnan had been arrested a dozen times by Israeli forces for his political and anti-occupation activities over the past two decades. He spent a total of eight years behind bars.

Palestinian resistance groups and authorities have mourned the murder of Adnan, holding the occupying Tel Aviv regime fully responsible for the crime.

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