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PA: Israel offers to free hunger striker in November

Aug. 19, 2015 10:15 A.M. (Updated: March 19, 2016 4:04 P.M.)
Palestinian protesters shout slogans during a demonstration on August 16, 2015 in front of the hospital in Ashkelon treating Allan. (AFP/Ahmad Gharabli)
By: Killian Redden

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Israeli military prosecution on Wednesday morning offered to release Palestinian hunger striker Muhammad Allan when his administrative detention expires in November, the head of the Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners' Affairs said.

Issa Qaraqe said that Israel offered to release Allan on Nov. 3 when his six-month interval in administrative detention -- internment without trial or charge -- comes to an end.

Qaraqe said that Israel would also pledge not to detain Allan under administrative detention again.

As of noon Wednesday, Allan was not believed to have responded yet, although Jawad Bolous, chief lawyer for the Palestinian Prisoner's Society, told Ma'an that he was at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon seeing Allan.

Allan, now in his 65th day on hunger strike, on Tuesday afternoon woke from a coma after four days without consciousness and immediately pledged to resume fasting if Israel did not resolve his case within 24 hours.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society said that Allan "declared in front of his doctors that if there is not any solution to his case within 24 hours he will ask for all treatment to stop and will stop drinking water."

The 31-year-old lawyer from southern Nablus has been receiving life-saving medical treatment, but threatened to have this brought to an end if Israel does not end his administrative detention and release him.

He confirmed that he was not willing to be deported abroad for four years, an offer the Israeli state made Monday during a Supreme Court hearing while listening to arguments on whether to release him.

During the hearing, one of the doctors treating Allan said that if he were to resume his hunger strike he was likely to go into a fatal decline.

Allan, who has been held in Israeli custody since last November, went on hunger strike to protest his administrative detention.

After he slipped into a coma, Israeli doctors used artificial breathing equipment, fluids and vitamins to keep him alive.

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.
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