Palestinian hunger-striker regains consciousness

Mohammed Allaan, who has been on hunger strike for over two months, vows to continue his fast until he is freed.

Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Allaan protest
Allan began his hunger strike two months ago and has been at the intensive care unit of the Barzilai hospital in Israel [EPA]

A Palestinian prisoner on a hunger strike against his detention without trial has been brought out of sedation in an Israeli hospital and vowed to continue his fast.

Sedated since Friday after doctors said his condition had deteriorated sharply, Mohammed Allaan had been given medication intravenously at Barzilai hospital in southern Israel.

The hospital said doctors, reporting an improvement in his condition, weaned him off a respirator on Tuesday and cut his sedation, and that Allaan was “conscious and communicating”.

Lawyer Jawad Bullos said Allaan, 31, vowed to “hunger strike until he is freed”. 

Allaan allowed the hospital to keep injecting him with some supplements for 24 hours, until Israel’s Supreme Court rules on his case. He warned that he will stop drinking water after that if his administrative detention does not end.

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At a hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday, the Justice Ministry said it would consider freeing him if he agreed to be exiled abroad for four years.

His lawyers rejected the proposal, saying Allaan poses no security threat, and the court, urging the sides to negotiate, scheduled another session for Wednesday.

Organ damage

Allaan began his hunger strike on June 18 to protest his incarceration without charge.

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Doctors say he has organ damage because of the fast and his condition remains precarious.

Allaan spent his college years as an activist and leader in the student wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group at a West Bank university

He was arrested in November 2014 and held for two six-month periods under administrative detention, which allows authorities to imprison suspects for months or years without charge.

Israel defends the practice as a necessary tool to stop “militant activity”.

Allaan’s mother has been the only family member to see him, after being permitted entrance to Israel from the occupied West Bank.

On August 9, she was able to see her son briefly. He was shaking, she said, but remained resolute. Allaan tried to reassure her, telling her that Israel had no case against him, she added.

“I know that my son did nothing. This is injustice,” she said. “He said, ‘Either I will be released or I will die.'”

Palestinian prisoners have used hunger strikes before to draw attention to their detention without trial or charges.

Fearing that a fasting detainee’s death could spark unrest among Palestinians, Israel has at times acceded to hunger strikers’ demands.

In June, it freed Khader Adnan, a 36-year-old senior activist in Islamic Jihad, after a 55-day hunger strike protesting his detention without charge.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies