Middle East conflict: After the death of a prisoner: Rocket fire from Gaza on Israel

Middle East conflict: After the death of a prisoner: Rocket fire from Gaza on Israel

A jihadi member, Chader Adnan, went on a hunger strike after his arrest – he has now died as a result. Militant Palestinians respond with massive rocket fire.

After the death of a Palestinian hunger striker in Israeli custody, there has been massive shelling from the Gaza Strip on Israel. At least 30 rockets and six mortar shells were fired during the day, the Israeli military said. A senior member of the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad had previously died in Israeli custody after nearly three months on a hunger strike.

A spokesman for the Israeli prison authorities said 44-year-old Chader Adnan was found unconscious in his cell. During attempts to revive him, he was taken to a hospital, but was pronounced dead there.

A senior jihadist in the Gaza Strip then announced retaliation. “The enemy will pay the price for this crime.” The Islamist Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, made a similar statement: “Our people with all their forces and factions will escalate all forms of resistance with all means and instruments and oppose the crimes of the occupying power against prisoners and detainees.”

According to medics, at least three people in Israel were injured by rocket splinters, one of them seriously. Other people have reportedly been treated for anxiety, among other things. Defense Minister Joav Galant said: “Anyone who tries to harm the citizens of Israel will regret it.” As a rule, Israel responds to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip with a counterattack. A briefing called by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued late in the evening.

Prime Minister accuses Israel of “deliberate assassination” of Adnan

According to Israeli sources, Adnan began the hunger strike on February 5 after his arrest for terrorism-related offences. The Islamist from Jenin in the West Bank had been imprisoned for alleged membership in a terrorist organization and support for terrorism and hate speech, said a spokesman for the prison authority. It is already his tenth prison term in Israel. Jenin is considered a stronghold of militant Palestinians.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtaje accused Israel of “deliberately killing” Adnan “by rejecting his demand for his release, by neglecting him medically and by leaving him in his cell despite the seriousness of his health.” The Palestinian Foreign Ministry called for an international investigation into the circumstances. Palestinians called a general strike in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Zero Tolerance Policy

According to the news site “ynet”, the prison authorities increased the alert for fear of unrest. Israel’s far-right Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir instructed the authorities to tell detainees that if they rioted or went on hunger strike, they would lose some of their previously granted conditions. “My instructions to the prison authorities are to operate a zero-tolerance policy,” he was quoted as saying by “ynet”.

According to Palestinian sources, Adnan was a married father of nine children. He had been repeatedly arrested by Israeli security forces in the past and held in custody without official charges.

Adnan was released in 2015 after a life-threatening hunger strike. In February 2012, too, Adnan ended a 66-day hunger strike after reaching an agreement with Israel. With the action he protested against his so-called administrative detention in Israel. Those affected can be detained for six months or longer without charge for security reasons.

This time, however, the legal situation was different, according to Israeli sources, because Adnan had been officially charged with terrorist offenses before a military court. A similar deal about a release as in the past was therefore not possible before the end of the process, the prison authorities said.

Source: Stern

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