(Arraba) A senior leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Islamic Jihad died on Tuesday after more than 80 days of a hunger strike in an Israeli prison, and news of his death was followed by rocket fire from the gang from Gaza to Israel.

Khader Adnane, 45, had been imprisoned many times by Israel and had already gone on several hunger strikes, becoming a symbol for Palestinians.

The Israeli prison administration announced in a press release the death of a prisoner affiliated with Islamic Jihad, “ found unconscious in his cell ” and then hospitalized.

Physicians for Human Rights Israel recently visited him and called for his “immediate” hospitalization, saying his life was in danger.

“ Khader Adnane has chosen the hunger strike as a last resort, a non-violent way to protest against the oppression to which he and his people are subjected”, reacted the organization on Tuesday.

During a press conference at their home in Arraba, in the northern occupied West Bank, his wife Randa Moussa declared that his death was a “pride”.

On Friday, she told AFP that his conditions of detention were “ very difficult ” and that Israel had refused to transfer him to a civilian hospital and allow his lawyer to visit.

“The instructions to the prison services are those of zero tolerance towards hunger strikes and disturbances in prisons,” Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said on Tuesday, adding that cells had been closed in the wake of this death to “ avoid riots ”.

“We don’t want a drop of blood to be shed, we don’t want anyone to respond to the martyrdom of Sheikh (Adnane), we don’t want anyone to fire rockets and hit Gaza from the suite ”, for her part, claimed the wife of the deceased on Tuesday.

At dawn, three rockets and a mortar shell were fired from Gaza into Israel, falling in wasteland or near the border fence, the Israeli military said.

The shootings, however, have not been claimed at this stage.

After the death was announced, the Islamic Jihad, an organization considered “terrorist” by Israel, the United States and the European Union, affirmed that Israel “will pay the price for this crime”.

In August 2022, three days of clashes between Israel and Islamic Jihad left 49 Palestinians dead, including 12 members of Islamic Jihad according to the movement, and at least 19 children according to the UN. About 200 rockets were fired by Islamic Jihad from Gaza into Israel, injuring three.

On Tuesday morning, Palestinian traders closed their shops in the West Bank, responding to a call for a general strike, AFP journalists noted.

In the north of this Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967, an Israeli was injured by shards of glass and two vehicles were damaged by gunfire, according to the Israeli army, in search of suspects.

Khader Adnane had started his hunger strike from the start of his incarceration on February 5, the prison administration said, saying that he “ refused to undergo medical examinations and receive treatment ”.

He had been charged for his involvement in Islamic Jihad and for speeches in support of a hostile organization, an Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The military appeals court had rejected his request for release, according to this source.

While other inmates on hunger strike have succumbed to force-feeding, he is the first to die directly from such an action, Palestinian Prisoners Club president Qaddoura Fares told AFP.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh accused Israel of having “murdered” Adnane “by rejecting his calls to release him, neglecting him medically and keeping him in his cell despite the seriousness of his state of health”.

The Arab League considered his death to be “ the result of a deliberate policy of medical negligence ”.

In a letter released on April 1 by the Prisoners’ Club, Adnane wrote: “I send you these words as my flesh and fat have melted, my bones are necrotic and my strength has diminished […]. I pray that God will accept me as a dedicated martyr.”