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Hunger striker enters coma as protest enters 60 days

Aug. 14, 2015 10:42 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 14, 2015 6:56 P.M.)
(AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Allan, who has been on hunger strike for two months, lost consciousness Friday morning, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society said.

The society said that Allan's health had dangerously deteriorated overnight, and that the hunger striker entered a coma after severe shivering.

The Barzilai Medical Center said that Allan's condition had stabilized and he was connected to ventilators to assist his breathing.

The International Committee of the Red Cross was informed of developments and sent a doctor to visit Allan, who is currently being given fluids and sodium intravenously.

A spokesman for the Israel Prisons Service said he was not aware of such developments.

Israeli authorities previously said they would make use of a controversial new law to force feed Allan if his health became critical.

However, Usama al-Saadi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, told Ma'an: "Allan might be a martyr in hours as his health condition is very critical."

Shortly after the announcement, the Israeli Prison Service declared a state of alert across Israeli jails, closing all sections and preventing prayers.

Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Authority Prisoners' Committee, told Ma'an that the Israeli Prison Service had imposed a complete curfew in Israel's Ramon, Nafha, Negev and Eshel jails.

Allan, a lawyer from southern Nablus, has been held without trial or charge since November.

According to his lawyer, Allan has been on hunger strike at least 60 days in protest against his administrative detention.

On Thursday, his father, Nasser al-Din Allan, told Ma'an that Israel was waiting for his son to enter a coma before force feeding him.

The Israeli Knesset last month approved a law allowing prisoners on hunger strike to be force fed if their condition becomes life-threatening, sparking outcry from rights groups and medical experts.

A week after the law was passed, Israeli authorities announced that Allan may be force-fed if his health continued to deteriorate to the point in which his life was in danger.

The Israeli Medical Association called the law "damaging and unnecessary," stressing that its doctors would "continue to act according to medical ethics, which prohibit doctors from participating in torturing prisoners."

AFP contributed to this report.
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