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Palestinians occupy ICRC offices in support of hunger striker

Aug. 11, 2015 11:32 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 11, 2015 6:28 P.M.)
(MaanImages)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Up to 80 Palestinian activists on Monday evening occupied the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in occupied East Jerusalem to express solidarity with a Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike more than 50 days.

The Palestinian youths were reported to have set up tents and raised Palestinian flags and posters inside the offices in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Activist Muhammad al-Shalabi said that around 80 Palestinians had declared an open sit-in that will last until Israel ends the administrative detention of hunger striker Muhammad Allan.

Allan, who has been held without trial or charge since November, has been on hunger strike for at least 56 days, although the exact length is unclear.

On Monday, he was transferred to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, where it is feared Israeli doctors intend to force feed him.

Al-Shalabi said that the Palestinian activists are demanding that the ICRC send a permanent representative to the Barzilai Medical Center to be with Allan to prevent any attempts to force feed him.

They are also demanding that Allan's mother and family be allowed to visit him, and that the ICRC provide "protection" for Palestinians supporting Allan.

The activists condemned the ICRC for "silence" on Allan's case, and accused the organization of not doing enough to save his life.

The movement also condemned the Palestinian leadership for failing to organize demonstrations to support the hunger striker.

They said that Israeli guards at the Barzilai Medical Center had assaulted protesters at the center earlier on Monday.

Allan was transferred to Barzilai after doctors at Soroka hospital in Beersheba reportedly refused to force feed him.

Barzilai Medical Center said that although they view force-feeding as an "unacceptable step," they may use the controversial procedure to "save his life."

The Israeli Medical Association has said that "in accordance with generally accepted ethical principles in Israel and abroad, forced medical treatment, including force-feeding, is forbidden."

(MaanImages)

(MaanImages)
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