Israel resumed its periodic bombing of Gaza in response to rockets from the Islamic Jihad group on May 2. The rockets in turn were prompted by the death of Khader Adnan who died in Israeli custody following a hunger strike.
According to Al Jazeera, “Adnan, who was awaiting trial, was found unconscious in his cell and taken to a hospital, where he was declared dead after efforts to revive him, Israel’s Prisons Service said on Tuesday. Hundreds of people took to the streets in blockaded Gaza and the occupied West Bank to rally in support of Adnan and mourn his death, which Palestinian leaders described as an assassination. The Israeli military said at least 26 rockets were fired from the enclave.
Two landed in the southern city of Sderot, wounding three people, including a 25-year-old foreign national who Israel’s ambulance service said sustained serious shrapnel wounds.” Before rockets were fired, there was Israeli shelling on Gaza including in Khan Younis. Adnan was being imprisoned while awaiting trial.
The broader context includes a 17 year long siege of Gaza where Israel severely restrict who or what enters the strip. As of now, Hamas rules over Gaza. Furthermore Israel holds many palestinian activists and accused terrorists in administrative detention without trial for prolonged periods of time. According to Al Jazeera, “Administrative detention is a mainstream measure whereby Palestinians are forcibly arrested without even knowing what they are been accused of. Hunger strikes are often the last recourse. It is “a complete mockery of international human rights law,” said Barghouti.
The number of Palestinian administrative detainees has risen to more than 1,000 over the past year, the highest number in two decades. Israeli rights group B’Tselem has described the hunger strike of Khader Adnan as “a form of nonviolent protest against his arrest and the injustices of the occupation.” Several Israeli hospitals refused to admit Adnan after visiting them.