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Israel offers to deport hunger striker as top court delays decision

Aug. 17, 2015 6:56 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 20, 2015 4:14 P.M.)
Mohammed Allan's situation has sparked protests in support of his cause and demands for his release. (AFP/Said Khatib)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities on Monday offered to free Palestinian hunger striker Muhammad Allan if he leaves the country, a demand his lawyer immediately dismissed, while the Israeli Supreme Court postponed taking a decision on whether to release him.

Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners' Affairs, said that the Israeli military prosecutors had offered to release Allan if he was deported abroad for a period of four years.

"We are categorically refusing that proposal," Allan's lawyer, Jamil al-Khatib, said.

Qaraqe confirmed that it was against Allan's wishes to be deported, and the prisoners' affairs committee would refuse deportation "in all its forms."

He added that Palestinians viewed the deportation of any Palestinian prisoner outside the occupied Palestinian territory as illegitimate, adding that it was a war crime under international law.

A Palestinian member of the Israeli Knesset, Ahmad Tibi, agreed that deportation would be refused and demanded Allan's release.

Israel made the offer as the Israeli Supreme Court heard arguments over whether to release Allan.

Qaraqe said the Israeli prosecutors alleged that Allan was a "danger to the state of Israel" and his release would be a "gift" to all Palestinian prisoners.

However, Allan's lawyers argued during Monday's hearing that his condition negated the authorities' argument that he posed a danger.

The court ultimately postponed a decision to another hearing on Wednesday, claiming that they wanted to study Allan's medical file, Qaraqe said.

Allan, a 31-year-old lawyer from southern Nablus, slipped into a coma on Friday after more than two months on hunger strike.

He is protesting his administrative detention, which allows people to be held without charge for six-month intervals that can be renewed indefinitely.

He has been in custody since November.

Since he slipped into a coma, Israeli doctors have been using artificial breathing equipment, fluids and vitamins to keep him alive.

Palestinian authorities have said that the doctors had decided to prolong Allan's life "on his behalf," terming their method "unethical."

A doctor at the hospital where Allan is being treated told the court that he had not appeared to suffer irreversible damage but would probably not survive if he resumed his hunger strike.

Allan's protest has raised questions over whether Israel will seek to invoke a law passed last month allowing prisoners to be force-fed when their lives are in danger.

Doctors and activists strongly oppose the law, including those who say the practice amounts to torture and robs Palestinians of a legitimate form of protest.

The law requires the authorities to seek a court order to allow for force feeding, which they have not done.

AFP contributed to this report.
Comments
Joe Fattal / USA
Who is that moron that makes decisions in Israel. How can they deport someone on his death bed?. And how can he be a threat to Israel security?, No wonder Israel popularity in the US is going down the drain. Just read some comments about Israel in many of its web pages.
17/08/2015 19:19
Arnold / Canada
It is a legal concious decision by an individual to go on a hunger strike. The idea is to force the jailer... in this case Israel to be set free. This individual should be allowed to die. Then Israel will face the consequences. What they are nobody knows. Intifada 3 ? Not a new threat.
17/08/2015 20:10
Olga / N.J
How do you know that Joe? Are there more PS than Cubans in Florida? As for the um....terms? Old. Heard it before. Threat to Natl. Security? Also tried and true. I make too much sense and they're gotten by the cojones. If he dies? Is he their Bobby Sands?
18/08/2015 09:08
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