Israel rearrests senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Khader Adnan

MEE Staff

Middle East Eye  /  February 5, 2023

Adnan, who has been imprisoned at least 11 times before, was last released from Israeli detention in 2021.

Israeli forces arrested a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group in the occupied West Bank early on Sunday, according to Palestinian media reports.

Khader Adnan, a former Palestinian prisoner, was arrested during an overnight Israeli raid on his family home in Arraba village, southwest of Jenin, Palestinian state news agency WAFA reported.

Adnan has been imprisoned at least 11 times since 2004 and was a spokesperson for Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails.

He was last freed from an Israeli prison in 2021 after 25 days of detention.

Adnan, seen by many Palestinians as a symbol of resistance, went on hunger strike four times during detention, including one stretch that lasted 67 days.

The Israeli army on Sunday said seven Palestinians were arrested but did not name Adnan and did not specify the charges against them.

Adnan launched his first hunger strike, which lasted 25 days, in 2004 to protest being held in administrative detention, a controversial practice that allows Israel to detain Palestinians without charge for six-month periods.

These detention periods can be renewed indefinitely and Palestinian detainees can spend years in prison without being charged.

Adnan’s 67-day hunger strike in 2012 inspired a wave of Palestinian prisoners held under administrative detention to join him.

Stoking tensions

Adnan’s arrest comes as tensions rise in the West Bank following an uptick in Israeli violence against Palestinians since the beginning of the year.

​​A total of 35 Palestinians were killed by Israelis in January, making it the deadliest month for Palestinians in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem since 2015.

Six of the fatalities were under the age of 18, with the youngest being 14-year-old Omar Lotfi Khumour. The victims also included 60-year-old Majda Abdel Fattah Obaid, who was reportedly fatally shot while reading the Quran inside her home.

The vast majority were killed by Israeli troops, while three were killed by settlers.

On Friday, Israeli troops fatally shot 26-year-old Palestinian Abdullah Sami Qalalweh near a checkpoint in Huwara, a town south of Nablus.

Meanwhile last week, a Palestinian gunman killed seven Israelis in a shooting attack in a Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem. 

According to data compiled by Middle East Eye, Israeli forces killed more Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2022 than in any single calendar year since the Second Intifada.