Arab MK: Hunger-striking prisoner should be freed ‘immediately’ (The Times of Israel)

Palestinian hunger striker Mohammad Allaan should be released immediately, Joint (Arab) List MK Youssef Jabareen said Monday, as he is now in a life-threatening condition.

Allaan is now on the 62nd day of a hunger strike to protest his incarceration in Israeli administrative detention, which allows the state to hold prisoners indefinitely as a preventative measure when intelligence points to terror activities.

A lawyer by profession, Allaan has been held by Israel since last November on suspicion of terror activities and membership in the Islamic Jihad group. He has been on hunger strike since June, and lost consciousness Friday morning at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

“Administrative detention runs counter to the basic principles of fair trial,” said Jabareen, a Georgetown University-trained international law professor, following a hearing on Allaan’s ongoing detention. Jabareen said that of the 400 Palestinians currently being held by Israel in administrative detention, 10 are on hunger strike.

The High Court found Monday that “there is no change in the justification for holding [Allaan] in administrative detention.” The court will reconvene on Wednesday for a further hearing on his possible release.

Jabareen rebuffed the State’s proposal the Allaan be released on condition that he leave the country for four years.

“This proves Allaan isn’t really dangerous,” he said. “If he can direct terror activity once released he can do the same from abroad. He should be released immediately so that his torture ends.”

Allaan’s case has created intense public debate in Israel regarding legislation to force-feed prisoners who are on a hunger strike whose health reaches a critical point from lack of nutrition.

MK Youssef Jabareen of the Joint (Arab) List at the Knesset, June 9, 2015 (Elhanan Miller/Times of Israel)

Critics say the legislation violates the prisoners’ human rights, while the Israeli medical community has almost unanimously opposed it, saying that apart from the ethical consideration, force-feeding prisoners who have fasted for many days can be just as dangerous to their health as allowing them to continue fasting.

The government for its part fears a massive hunger strike and wants to avoid letting Allaan’s case set a precedent.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan tweeted earlier on Monday that, “if Allaan is released this will obviously lead to a massive hunger strike among security prisoners and become a new type of weapon for the terrorists.”

The security establishment is concerned by statements made over the past week by Gaza terror groups, who warned that if Allaan dies their response will be “fierce.”

Allaan collapsed over the weekend but doctors at Barzilai succeeded in stabilizing his condition. On Sunday, the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club asked the hospital to wake him up in order to examine his medical condition. After Allaan received a transfusion of liquids and salts and his condition stabilized, it was appropriate to wake him up since, the club said, the transfusion already constituted an intervention in his hunger strike.

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