Khader was arrested on 17 December 2011, when Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) raided his home outside Jenin at 3:30 am. Before entering his house, soldiers used the driver that takes Khader’s father to the vegetable market, Mohammad Mustafa, as a human shield by forcing him to knock on the door of the house and call out Khader’s name while blindfolded. A huge force of soldiers then entered the house shouting. Recognizing Khader immediately, they grabbed him violently in front of his two young daughters and ailing mother.
The soldiers blindfolded him and tied his hands behind his back using plastic shackles before leading him out of his house and taking him to a military jeep. Khader was then thrown on his back and the soldiers began slapping him in the face and kicking his legs. They kept him lying on his back until they reached Dutan settlement, beating him on the head throughout the 10-minute drive. When they reached the settlement, Khader was pushed aggressively out of the jeep. Because of the blindfold, Khader did not see the wall right in front of him and smashed into it, causing injuries to his face.
Though he was arrested at 3:30 in the morning, Khader was kept shackled until 8:30 am, at which point he was transferred to Megiddo prison. On his first day under arrest, Khader began a hunger strike in protest of his detention. The following morning, he was taken to Al-Jalameh interrogation center. Upon arriving to Al-Jalameh, Khader was given a medical exam, where he informed prison doctors of his injuries and told them that he suffered from a gastric illness and disc problems in his back. Instead of being treated, he was taken to interrogation immediately.
Four interrogators began to insult and humiliate him, especially using abusive language about his wife, sister, children and mother. On the first day of interrogation, he answered general questions despite the continuous spate of insults. After the first session, however, Khader stopped responding and began a speaking strike because of the interrogators’ use of increasingly graphic language. Interrogation sessions continued every day for the next ten days, excluding Mondays.
On his fourth day of interrogation, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) sentenced him in his cell to seven days of isolation due to his hunger strike. In order to further punish him without being required to go to court, the IPS also banned him from family visits for three months, revealing a pre-intention to keep him in detention upon completion of his interrogation. Khader was placed in an isolation cell in a section of the prison shared with Israeli criminal prisoners. On one occasion, a force of soldiers raided his cell in the middle of the night and strip-searched him. While in the isolation period, Khader continued to be under interrogation daily.
Each day, Khader was subjected to two three-hour interrogation sessions. Throughout the interrogation sessions, his hands were tied behind his back on a chair with a crooked back, causing extreme pain to his back. Khader notes that the interrogators would leave him sitting alone in the room for half an hour or more. Khader also suffered from additional ill-treatment. During the second week of interrogation, one interrogator pulled his beard so hard that it caused his hair to rip off. The same interrogator also took dirt from the bottom of his shoe and rubbed it on Khader’s mustache as a means of humiliation.
On Friday evening 30 December 2011, Khader was transferred to Ramleh prison hospital because of his deteriorating health from his hunger strike. He was placed in isolation in the hospital, where he was subject to cold conditions and cockroaches throughout his cell. He has refused any medical examinations since 25 December, which was one week after he stopped eating and speaking. The prison director came to speak to Khader in order to intimidate him further and soldiers closed the upper part of his cell’s door to block any air circulation, commenting that they would “break him” eventually.
On 8 January 2012, Khader was issued a four-month administrative detention order. As with all other administrative detainees, Khader’s detention is based on secret information collected by Israeli authorities and available to the military judge but not to the detainee or his lawyer. This practice violates international humanitarian law, which permits some limited use of administrative detention in emergency situations, but requires that the authorities follow basic rules for detention, including a fair hearing at which the detainee can challenge the reasons for his or her detention. These minimum rules of due process have been clearly violated in Khader’s case, leaving him without any legitimate means to defend himself. At the hearing in Ofer military court, Khader was threatened by members of the Nahshon, a special intervention unit of the IPS known for being particularly brutal in their treatment of prisoners, who told Khader that his head should be exploded.
Although his interrogation period has ended, Khader remains under hunger strike for multiple stated reasons: he considers his detention a violation of his rights and identity; he rejects the ill-treatment he suffered at the hands of the soldiers, interrogators, and Nahshon Unit; and he refuses to accept the unjust system of administrative detention. Khader currently suffers from overall fatigue and dizziness and is refusing to add any vitamins or salt to his water. The doctor in the hospital has threatened to give him nutrition by force if he continues to resist medical treatment. He is watched at all times through cameras in his cell and if he does not move at night, soldiers knock on his door violently.
This arrest is Khader’s eighth detention by Israeli authorities. He previously spent a total of six years in Israeli prison, mainly under administrative detention. In 2005, he launched a hunger strike that lasted for 12 days in protest of being held in isolation in Kfar Yuna.