Palestinian hunger-striker Allan released from hospital and rearrested

The alleged Islamic Jihad activist went on a hunger strike to protest his administrative detention, and was released due to his deteriorating medical condition.

A Beduin demonstrator holds a sign during a protest in the southern town of Rahat, Israel, in support of Islamic Jihad activist Muhammed Allan (photo credit: REUTERS)
A Beduin demonstrator holds a sign during a protest in the southern town of Rahat, Israel, in support of Islamic Jihad activist Muhammed Allan
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Muhammad Allan, a terrorist member of Islamic Jihad who went on a life-threatening hunger strike until the High Court of Justice suspended his administrative detention last month, was rearrested on Wednesday as he exited Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon after being restored to health. He has threatened to resume his strike if replaced in administrative detention.
The Israel Prisons Service said that Allan was already in its custody at Nitzan Prison.
Jamal Hatib of Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, said that Allan’s confinement under administrative detainment is illegal, because the state did not undertake a new evaluation of his status, as required by the High Court decision in August that suspended his detention for medical treatment.
Hatib added that, “We and Allan will consider filing another petition” with the High Court against the new administrative detention.
Though in the past month, Allan has said he would relaunch his hunger strike if rearrested, an IPS spokesman on Wednesday said that Allan has not yet reiterated this notion since his rearrest earlier in the day.
In late August, the High Court of Justice ordered Allan’s release from administrative detention due to his deteriorating medical condition and the suspicion that his brain had been damaged.
The release order allowed Allan’s family to visit him freely, which is not permitted in administrative detention, and suspended his administrative detention while undergoing medical treatment.
Though the police were involved in the arrest, they forwarded all further questions about the event to the IDF Central Command and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency).
The Shin Bet said that, based on the “intelligence information it possesses,” Allan still presents a “danger to public order and the security” of the West Bank.
This information, along with the “changed circumstances” regarding Allan’s health, led the IDF Central Command to “end the suspension” of the administrative detention order.
Allan, 31, originally launched his hunger strike to protest his detention without being charged with a crime.
Administrative detention is controversial, because it bypasses standard judicial proceedings, with fewer procedural safeguards. Israel says it is often necessary in dealing with terrorists, where the evidence against them cannot be revealed in open court without jeopardizing investigations.
Before the hearing suspending his detention, the state offered to free Allan on his scheduled November 4 release date, if he agreed to end his life-threatening protest. Provided he does not resume his hunger strike and provoke a new crisis, there is a distinct possibility that Allan will be released in under two months.
Generally, when a court rules on an administrative detention order, it can take three possible actions: it either confirms, shortens, or completely cancels the administrative detention. The High Court’s decision in this case was precedent setting, since it did not explicitly do any of the above three actions, leading the IDF to interpret the decision as a suspension of the administrative detention (a category which did not previously exist) in a way that it could be instantly reactivated without either a new court decision or order.
Adalah did not accept this interpretation and called the rearrest “vengeful, arbitrary, and without an evidentiary basis.”
The creation of this new category of suspended administrative detention potentially opens a variety of new temporary suspensions for other extenuating circumstances which prisoners often request, such as being temporarily freed for important f amily events.