Palestinian dies in Israel prison after 86 days on hunger strike

A prominent Palestinian prisoner has died in an Israeli jail after 86 days on hunger strike.

Khader Adnan was a senior figure in the militant group, Islamic Jihad, who Israel had charged with terrorism offences.

The Israel Prison Service said he had refused medical treatment before he was found unconscious in his cell on Tuesday.

Hours after his death, militants fired three rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. No-one was hurt.

The Palestinian prime minister accused Israel of “deliberately assassinating” Adnan, while Islamic Jihad warned Israel that it would pay “the highest price”.

Adnan, who was 45 and from the north of the occupied West Bank, had been in and out of detention by Israel over the past two decades. He had been on hunger strike four times before in protest, helping to make his name well known to Palestinians.

It has become common for Palestinian prisoners to refuse food for extended periods while in Israeli jails, but in recent years such deaths have been rare due to medical intervention.

Adnan began a fifth hunger strike immediately after being detained by Israeli forces at his home in Arraba, near the city of Jenin, on February 5.

Israeli authorities accused him of supporting terrorism, affiliation with a terrorist group and incitement, and he was due to go on trial this month.

But the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group, Addameer, said he was being held on “spurious charges intended to further suppress Palestinian activists”.

Last week, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, another advocacy group, said he was being held in the clinic at Ramla prison in central Israel, and that he was refusing nutritional supplements and medical examinations.

Adnan’s wife, Randa Mousa, said he was doing that because Israeli authorities had “refused to transfer him to a civilian hospital (and) refused to allow his lawyer a visit”.

On Tuesday, the Israel Prison Service announced that Adnan was “found early this morning in his cell unconscious”, and that he was taken to a hospital where he was declared dead after efforts to revive him failed. -BBC

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