Islamic Jihad hunger striker wakes from coma

Muhammad Allan refuses deportation offer; High Court to rule today on release.

August 19, 2015 02:05
2 minute read.
hunger strkide

Maazouze, the mother of Mohammed Allaan, a Palestinian prisoner who is on a long-term hunger strike, holds a portrait of her son during a rally calling for his release.. (photo credit: AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)


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Palestinian prisoner and hunger striker Muhammad Allan regained consciousness on Tuesday and informed the state that he was rejecting its offer to free him if he agreed to deportation for at least four years.

Allan, associated with Islamic Jihad, agreed to receive some medical essentials to keep him alive on a temporary basis pending Wednesday’s High Court of Justice hearing to address whether his medical condition could justify his release from administrative detention.

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He has been on a hunger strike for 65 days and was taken off of a respirator earlier on Tuesday morning as his condition steadily improved.

Allan will continue to receive “essential medical treatments,” according to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon where he is being treated, although he is expected to tell doctors whether or not he wants to continue to receive treatment, or would prefer to die.
Amnesty against force-feeding hunger stikers

The High Court issued an interim ruling on Monday that the administrative detention of Allan is legal, although it ordered that a review of his health status take place on Wednesday.

The State Attorney’s Office said earlier on Monday that it was willing to consider releasing him if he agreed to be deported for four years.

Administrative detention is controversial, because it bypasses standard judicial proceedings in favor of streamlining with fewer procedural safeguards.

Israel says it is often necessary in circumstances dealing with terrorists, where the evidence against them cannot be revealed in open court.

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Gal-On in a Facebook post attacked the state’s offer of deportation.

“No torture, no forced-feeding and no deportation out of the country. Instead of all of the creative and unethical attempts” to stop Allan from his hunger strike, “we should tell the truth,” she said.

Gal-On said the truth is that Allan is not a real security danger, “especially in his current condition,” and that the only real danger is the public relations damage to those in the government who want to defend the practice of administrative detention.

On the flip side, Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan said that the state has offered Allan a reasonable alternative in the form of freedom for deportation.

He added that since Allan rejected the offer, he should be fed according to the recently passed “Law for Forced-Feeding” hunger- striking prisoners.

Ben-Dahan said that if the security services viewed Allan as dangerous, then “for sure the State of Israel cannot bow to his demands and release him,” especially since that would lead to “all other prisoners” embarking of hunger strikes to force Israel “to surrender.”

Yasser Okbi of Ma’ariv contributed to this report.

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