Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Breaking News

Palestinian Hunger-Striker Loses Consciousness

A Palestinian detainee in the ninth week of his hunger strike fell unconscious at an Israeli hospital on Friday in a case that could test Israel’s new force-feeding law.

Mohammed Allan, 31, an Islamic Jihad activist, began the strike after his detention without trial in November. Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon said he had been put on a respirator and a saline drip and his condition was stable.

Israel has long been concerned that hunger strikes by Palestinians in its jails could end in deaths and trigger waves of protests in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Last month Israel enacted a law permitting doctors to administer nutrition to hunger strikers against their will to try to keep them alive.

The law has met opposition from Israel’s medical association, which considers force-feeding a form of torture and medically risky and has urged Israeli physicians not to abide by it.

Allan was moved to Barzilai hospital from another hospital in southern Israel earlier this week and doctors at both hospitals have so far honored his wish not to be treated.

“The condition of Mohammed Allan deteriorated this morning. He is receiving treatment and his condition is stable. The treatment is being administered according the ethics committee guidelines and includes respiration and intravenous fluids and saline,” the hospital said in a statement.

It said that a doctor from the International Committee of the Red Cross had come to the hospital.

Some Palestinian administrative detainees, whom Israel has held without trial or pressing charges, have used hunger strike protests to try to effect their release. Israel has not outlined charges against Allan, who was detained in November.

In 2012, Israel freed Khader Adnan, another Islamic Jihad activist held without trial following a 66-day hunger strike. He was re-arrested and held for a year until his release last month.

In Gaza, the Islamic Jihad militant faction said it would hold Israel responsible if Allan died and hinted it could respond with violence.

“In view of (Israeli) intransigence and their rejection of the demands of Mohammed Allan we hold them fully responsible for his life and if he dies, it will force us to defend our people and our prisoners,” a statement said.

On Wednesday, some 200 supporters of Allan clashed with Israeli right-wingers near the hospital. Mounted police and other officers dispersed the fracas and a number of protesters were detained and questioned, a police spokeswoman said.

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.