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Israeli medical officials meet to discuss Palestinian hunger striker

Aug. 14, 2015 2:47 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 15, 2015 11:55 A.M.)
Palestinians gather bearing portraits of jailed relatives during a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli jails on August 10, 2015. (AFP/Hazem Bader)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli medical personnel reported Friday that the life of Palestinian detainee Mohammad Allan is in danger after 60 days on hunger strike.

An Israeli committee held a meeting at the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, Israel to discuss the health condition of the hunger-striker, the Palestinian Prisoners' Society (PPS) said.

Director of the hospital Dr. Hezi Levi told Ma'an that Allan's health had deteriorated significantly during the night and had fallen into a coma Friday morning.

Jawad Boulos, director of the legal department of PPS said that the doctors have conducted a CAT scan on Allan, who is is currently connected to ventilators and intravenous fluids.

The Israeli medical center is treating Allan according to Israel's Patients' Rights Act, Boulous added.

A spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross told Ma'an that the situation is "extremely critical" and a doctor from the ICRC is currently at the hospital.

Several days ago, the ICRC coordinated permission with Israeli authorities to allow Allan's mother to visit him, and she is currently at the medical center, the spokesperson added.

When exiting her son's hospital room on Friday afternoon, Allan's mother told Ma'an that her son was dying.

ICRC has undergone efforts to uphold Allan's rights while under the care of Israeli medical professionals, and told Ma'an the group is in constant contact with doctors at the medical center and Allan's family in Nablus.

Physicians for Human Rights - Israel said Friday that once Allan lost consciousness "medical ethics requires that his doctors act in accordance to their understanding of the patient's will and their discretion."

The group urged the Israeli political leadership to reach a decision to release Allan from administrative detention and let doctors concentrate on saving his life.

'Manipulating his free will'

Allan, a 31-year-old lawyer, has been on hunger strike for two months in protest of being held without trial or charge in Israeli jails under administrative detention.

Dozens of supporters have gathered in front of the Barzilai center in solidarity with Allan, including Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset Ahmad Tibi and Osama Saadi.

Both politicians called for the immediate release of the Palestinian prisoner.

Verbal altercations reportedly erupted between former Palestinian MK Talab al-Sane and the medical center's director on providing Allan with nutrition while he is unconsciousness, al-Sane describing the process as “manipulating his free will.”

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

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.

The practice amounts to torture under international law.

Hunger strikes are frequently used by Palestinian prisoners protesting their treatment and lack of due process inside of Israeli jails.

There are nearly 6,000 Palestinians currently held in Israeli jails, around 400 of whom are being held under administrative detention.


John Costello / usa
Force feeding is against international law, in that it is considered ethically unacceptable, or immoral, by all major world medical organizations. However, like almost everything else concerning international law, , the US and Israel have simply refused to ratify the provisions that would make the law technically binding.
15/08/2015 12:21
Tibi / Tubas
While we may admire his determination, to get out of jail at any price,
plans to repeat the same method, which almost killed him, even though
it didn't win him much more than a few days in a different hospital.
17/09/2015 04:36
@ John / USA
Suicide (by starvation) is also "against international law", just like
Supporting groups like Islamic Jihad which routinely commit war crimes.
And besides, he has a debt to pay, that starving himself does not pay off.
17/09/2015 04:41
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