Catherine Ashton urges Israel to do everything to preserve health of Islamic Jihad member in administrative detention Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for more than two months.
'Health of Palestinian hunger striker worsening' - Wife of imprisoned Islamic Jihad operative says his health 'drastically deteriorated' and she 'expects the worst.'
Israeli human rights group warned on Tuesday he faced "imminent death".
Maor Buchnik Published: 02.18.12
The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is "concerned" about the deteriorating health condition of Khader Adnan, the Islamic Jihad member held in administrative detention in Israel who has been on hunger strike for more than two months.
In a statement issued on Saturday, Ashton urged Israel to "do all it can" to preserve Adnan's health. She further reiterated the EU's longstanding concern about Israel's "extensive use of administrative detention without formal charge."
Adnan was arrested by Israel on December 17 and started a hunger strike the following day. He is considered one of the Islamic Jihad's leaders in the West Bank and has served as the group's spokesman in the area for the past few years. He has been previously arrested several times – including by Palestinian security forces – and has served prison terms for various security offences.
Adnan's condition remained largely unchanged in the last few days after being determined stable earlier this week. "There is no immediate danger to his life, but he is at a critical point, as anyone would be after hunger striking for so long," said Dr Raymond Farah, head of the Sieff Hospital's Internal Medicine Department.
The hospital's director, Dr. Oscar Ambon, added that doctors are doing everything to preserve the detainee's health "regardless of his identity." He added, "the doctors are working to maintain the detainee's rights as a patient under the circumstances and his own cooperation. We hope he will allow us to provide him with medical assistance and the nourishment he needs."
On Wednesday, Adnan's attorneys filed a petition with Israel's High Court of Justice against his administrative detention.
Then petition included a medical opinion by a doctor from the Physicians for Human Rights foundation who has been monitoring Adnan's medical condition. "When I met the patient he was on the 52nd day of his hunger strike, shackled to his bed on both legs and one hand, and refused to undergo tests or receive medical treatment," the petition stated.
The hospital told Ynet on Thursday that Adnan is not shackled to his bed, contrary to what is stated the petition.
"A fast in excess of 70 days does not permit survival. Infusion of liquids, adjustment of salts, and the addition of glucose and vitamin cannot prevent certain death due to such a protracted hunger strike," the doctor said.
The health of a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike for 61 days to protest against his detention, has significantly worsened, his wife said on Thursday after visiting her husband in an Israeli hospital.
Khader Adnan, 33, a member of the terrorist Islamic Jihad group, has been refusing to eat since mid-December, shortly after his arrest in the West Bank by Israeli forces.
West Bank officials say it is the longest hunger strike staged by a Palestinian detainee and his Jihadist supporters have warned of violent reprisals against Israel if he dies.
"His health has drastically deteriorated from the last time I saw him," said his wife, Randa, who visited her husband on Wednesday, a week after the previous visit.
Adnan, who owns a bakery and a fruit and vegetable shop in his West Bank village, Arabeh, has lost 35 kg (77 lbs) and is at risk of dying as his muscles break down, doctors said. Despite his weak state, he remains shackled to his bed, his family said.
"He insists on continuing with the hunger strike," said Randa, who is pregnant with the couple's third child.
Adnan has agreed to take minerals and glucose in his water but the Physicians for Human Rights group in Israel (PHR) said this would not keep him alive and warned on Tuesday he faced "imminent death".
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