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Muhammad Allan placed in solitary confinement on 10th day of hunger strike

June 18, 2017 6:06 P.M. (Updated: June 19, 2017 1:13 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Prominent hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Muhammad Allan was transferred into solitary confinement on Saturday, Palestinian prisoners solidarity network Samidoun reported.

Samidoun quoted prisoners rights group Muhjat al-Quds as saying that Allan, who was detained by Israeli forces on June 8 and began his hunger strike that same day, was transferred from the Jalama detention center on Saturday to Megiddo prison, where he was reportedly placed in solitary confinement.

Israel Prison Service (IPS) spokesperson Hana Herbst did not directly confirm Allan’s transfer to Ma’an.

However, Herbst said that hunger striking constituted “a disciplinary violation in prison and is treated respectively,” adding that IPS “transfers prisoners regularly according to management and operational decisions.”

Arbitrary prison transfers are a common IPS tactic aiming to suppress resistance among Palestinian prisoners.

Allan, a lawyer from the Nablus-area village of Einabus in the northern occupied West Bank, was released from prison in November 2015 after a year-long stint in administrative detention -- Israel’s widely condemned policy of internment without charge or trial -- during which time he carried out a grueling 66-day hunger strike in protest of his detention.

An Israeli military court charged Allan with “incitement” on social media on Thursday, prompting his father to tell al-Quds news website that Israeli forces “have been after his son to detain him and take revenge on him since the day he was released last year from administrative detention.”

Israeli forces detained at least 400 Palestinians in less than a year over social media activity, and 400 others were detained for the same reason by the Palestinian Authority through its widely condemned policy of security coordination with Israel, Israeli news daily Haaretz reported in April.

Israeli authorities have justified their crackdown on Palestinian social media activity, arguing that a wave of unrest that began in October 2015 was stoked by online “incitement,” though Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon as reasons for acts of violence.

Suppression of Palestinian freedom of expression in recent months has also seen bookstores shuttered, while activists, journalists, novelists, and poets have been detained.

Allan’s strike comes in the wake of a 40-day hunger strike carried out by hundreds of Palestinian prisoners denouncing the infringement of their basic human rights in Israeli custody.

Despite Palestinian officials and leaders of the hunger strike declaring victory, IPS has repeatedly denied that it negotiated with the prisoners or acceded to any of their demands.
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