Palestinian detainee on hunger strike back in coma

Palestinian detainee on a two month hunger strike fell back into a coma following Israel’s suspension of his detention without trial

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Palestinians play the role of the Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Allan as a group of Palestinians hold a demonstration at Unknown Soldier's Square in Gaza City on August 18, 2015.

Palestinian activist Mohamed Allan, whose two-month long hunger-strike has drawn international media attention and sparked demonstrations, fell back into a medically induced coma on Thursday after Israel's top court adjourned his confinement without trial, a hospital official stated.

Doctors explained that the reason for the 31-year-old to slip back into a coma was due to his detoriorating situation; suffering brain damage "mainly due to a vitamin deficiency caused by his hunger strike which was unclear if the damage was permanent," a hospital spokeswoman said, which means that he will not be aware of the court’s decision.

The activist had previously fell into a coma on Friday prompting doctors to give him fluids, vitamins and minerals by injecting them through his veins and placing him on a respirator.

By Tuesday, Allan regained consciousness, his condition improved and was hence taken off the respirator. He pledged to resume his hunger strike, including water, if his case was not resolved.

The recent court ruling, which suspended his detention, was harshly criticised by right-wing politicians who considered Allan's release a submission to "terror".

Far-right Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel of the Jewish Home Party argued that the court should have ordered doctors to force-feed Allan, following a law that was passed in July, which permits such a practice to be conducted under certain circumstances.

Nonetheless, Ariel also criticised Israel's "widespread" employment of administrative detention, explaining that should be confined only to cases of "ticking bombs."

Allan is a lawyer from the occupied West Bank and a reported member of Palestine's Islamic Jihad resistance group. He was detained by Israeli authorities last November.

He began a hunger strike on June 18 to protest his ongoing custody under Israel's policy of "administrative detention," which leads suspects to be held for renewable periods without a charge or trial.

Israel uses administrative detention to hold Palestinians deemed to be security risks.

Around 340 Palestinians are now held in administrative detention, and detainees have regularly gone on hunger strike to protest.

TRTWorld and agencies