44-year old Islamic Jihad member dies after 86-day hunger strike in Israeli prison

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The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour has lauded the death of a senior Islamic Jihad member, Khader Adnan, who died after 86 –day hungry strike in an Israeli prison. Mansour told a UN panel on Wednesday that Khader was a “hero prisoner.”

Speaking at a meeting focused on Palestinian rights, Riyad Mansour accused Israeli authorities of failing to provide proper medical care to Khader Adnan, a day after he was found dead in his cell following an 86-day hunger strike. The death set off a round of fighting between Israel and terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.

“We are satisfied that the (secretary general) and the UN were alarmed about the fate of Adnan Khader, the hero prisoner who lost his life after 44 years of his life,” Mansour said.

“I believe that the UN is seeking some kind of credible investigation as to why his life was taken away from him through negligence from the Israeli occupying authorities, negligence in health care, not addressing the needs of prisoners,” he added.

Adnan had refused any medical care, the Israel Prisons Service said. The Physicians for Human Rights group said it had examined Adnan shortly before his death, and warned Israeli authorities that he was in critical condition, but said those warnings “fell on deaf ears.”

Adnan was accused of being a spokesperson and senior leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an Iran-backed group designated as a terror organization by the US, EU, Israel and other countries.

Though Adnan had been charged with terror offenses and was awaiting trial, Mansour however claimed that he was being held in administrative detention, a controversial practice in which detainees suspected of terror offenses are held without charge or trial.

Francesca Albanese, a special rapporteur for rights in the Palestinian Territories who has been accused of antisemitism, and Tlaleng Mofokeng, a UN expert on physical and mental health, called for an investigation into Adnan’s death.

The special rapporteurs’ statement also said Israeli authorities refused to provide Adnan with medical care, without mentioning Israel’s claim that he had refused treatment.

The statement accused Israel of carrying out “colonial” policies meant to “control and subjugate” Palestinians and accused Israel of war crimes. It did not mention Adnan’s membership in Islamic Jihad or Palestinian rockets fired at Israel in response to his death.

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