A giant has moved on. Khader Adnan, a baker, father, mathematician, and spokesman for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, has died after 87 days of hunger strike in an Israeli dungeon. He launched his protest against his administrative detention by resisting the natural human urge to consume food.
Born on March 24th, 1978, in the town of Arrabeh, close to the Palestinian city of Jenin, Adnan came of age as a much-loved member of his family. His first arrest in his early twenties by the Israeli occupation forces led to four months of imprisonment.
The very same year, he was arrested by the Palestinian Authority for leading a student demonstration against the visit of pro-Israel Prime Minister of France Lionel Jospin to his university, Birzeit, in Ramallah.
Khader gained a degree in Mathematics and went on to own his own bakery, where he provided the people of Jenin with sustenance. The irony is that one who provided food to others would later go on to be known for using his own hunger as a tool of emancipation.
Across his life of struggle, Khader Adnan was arrested 12 times. Many of those times, he was held for lengthy periods without any charge on what is commonly referred to as administrative detention.
It is believed that around 800 Palestinians are also held on such a basis throughout the network of dungeons in the Israeli matrix of unfreedom squatting over Palestine.
His arrest by Israeli occupation forces on December 17th, 2011, led to his first 66-day hunger strike, breaking the longest record by any Palestinian political prisoner at the time.
The settler colonial agents took him from his where his pregnant wife and two daughters lived with him. During that arrest, he was interrogated for 18 days and said to have been tortured by Israeli intelligence. But, the spirit of Khader Adnan was not broken, and he held his hunger strike demanding his release from administrative detention. The strike was successful and led to his release in February 2012.
Later that year, following the Israeli forces' assassination of Palestinian revolutionary thinker Basel al-Araj, Khader Adnan condemned the treachery of the Palestinian Authority. Stating that those who assisted Israel in the killing of the martyr Basel were, in fact, worse than the occupation itself.
The last time he was detained on administrative detention in 2023, his three-month hunger strike led to his death. He fought with everything he had for the liberation of his people and, with his steadfast perseverance, has written his name in the stars.
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