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Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader dies in Israeli prison after 86-day hunger strike

After Adnan’s death announced, 3 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel

A man holds a poster of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan, following the announcement of his death after 86 days of hunger strike at Israeli prison. (Photo: Ayman Nobani/DPA via Reuters)

Khader Adnan, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) political leader, died in an Israeli prison following an 86-day hunger strike. 

Adnan, who was arrested on Feb. 5, began a hunger strike upon his arrest by Israeli security forces. He had refused all medical treatment during his incarceration. 

Adnan was found unconscious in his cell at Nitzan Prison early Tuesday and was pronounced dead after being taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital, where efforts were made to revive him. 

PIJ had warned that Israel would pay a heavy price if Adnan died, saying they would consider it an assassination. 

Senior PIJ official Khaled al-Batsh said in April, “Our message to the Zionist enemy is that you will pay the price for harming the life of Sheikh Khader Adnan.” 

Adnan’s family had petitioned for his release due to his deteriorating health caused by the hunger strike. At that time, West Bank PIJ spokesperson, Tariq Ezz El-Din, said, "If Sheikh Khader Adnan is martyred, we will consider it an assassination that the occupation bears as a result of this crime." 

Adnan had been arrested 13 times, according to Al Quds newspaper, engaging in hunger strikes each time. In 2012, he was released by the Israeli Supreme Court due to deteriorating health following 66 days of a hunger strike. Adnan spent a total of eight years in Israeli prisons. 

Following the announcement of Adnan’s death, PIJ launched three rockets from Gaza into Israel. The rockets set off air raid sirens in the area of Kibbutz Saad, near the Gaza border. Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system did not fire after determining the rockets would land in open areas. 

"We announce the comprehensive strike today, Tuesday, to denounce the crime of the assassination of the captive Sheikh Khader Adnan, and we hold the occupation fully responsible for this crime," the PIJ said in a statement. 

Islamic Jihad Sec.-Gen. Ziad al-Nakhaleh released a statement saying the group “will not leave the path of jihad and resistance until our land is liberated from Zionist killers and criminals.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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