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Israeli court rejects Adnan appeal, 23 injured at protest

Feb. 13, 2012 7:26 A.M. (Updated: March 19, 2012 7:42 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- An Israeli military court rejected the appeal of hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan on Monday, as 23 people were injured in a nearby protest against his continued detention.

Israel's Ofer military court ruled against Adnan's appeal of his four month administrative detention order. The Islamic Jihad leader has refused food for 58 days to protest his treatment by Israeli authorities, and the practice of detention without charge.

His lawyer Jawad Bulus accused the court of failing to pay any attention to Adnan's deteriorating health.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoners Affairs Issa Qaraqe told Ma'an the ruling showed "utter disregard for Adnan's life, effectively condemning him to die."

Prisoners society head Qadura Fares slammed the ruling and called on international organizations to intervene in order to save the prisoner's life.

The PA is racing against time in talks with the UN, Jordan and other nations to save Adnan's life, Qaraqe said. The court decision shows government communications with Israel to resolve the crisis have failed, he noted.

Meanwhile dozens of students from Ramallah's Birzeit University gathered outside the Ofer military base to call for Adnan's release.

Israeli forces fired tear gas grenades and rubber bullets at the crowd, injuring 23 students, a Ma'an correspondent said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said "150 Palestinians gathered and hurled rocks at security forces who responded with riot dispersal means." She said a Palestinian and an Israeli border police officer were lightly injured in the clashes.

Health experts: Adnan in critical condition

Health experts told Ma'an on Monday that after 58 days without food, Adnan's condition is likely to be critical.

Biochemistry lecturer at Birzeit University Munir Nasser said a build-up of acids would result in Adnan loosing his sight, and eventual kidney failure and coma.

Health expert Dr. Amr al-Hussaini said his body would be vulnerable to infection as his immune system lost protein, while Al-Azhar University nutritionist Dr. Samir Radi warned Adnan's heart muscles could hypertrophy, leading to his death.

'National hunger strike'

A prisoners group called on Sunday for a national hunger strike on Wednesday to support Adnan. The Prisoners Affairs Institution urged demonstrators to gather outside International Red Crescent headquarters from 9 a.m.

Hundreds of prisoners in Israeli jails have joined the hunger strike, and solidarity demonstrators in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as the US, have gathered to call for his release.

On Saturday, Israeli forces detained four people at a demonstration supporting Adnan in southern West Bank town Beit Ummar, and 16 Palestinians were injured when forces shut down a protest outside Ofer prison.

Adnan has refused food since his Dec. 17 detention in northern West Bank city of Jenin. It is the longest hunger strike any Palestinian prisoner has undertaken.

He says prison officials mistreated him during interrogation, and he is protesting the practice of detention without charge against Palestinians.

There are an estimated 307 Palestinians in Israeli administrative detention -- held without charge -- in Israeli jails.

The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process said on Friday he is following the case "with concern", calling on Israel "to do everything in its power to preserve the health of the prisoner and resolve this case while abiding by all legal obligations under international law."
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