After Emerging From Coma, Palestinian Detainee Vows to Resume Hunger Strike

Doctors withdraw sedatives following improvement in Mohammed Allaan's condition, who is communicating and receiving vital medical treatment.

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Palestinian and Israeli-Arab protestors hold posters of Mohammed Allaan. August 9, 2015.
Palestinian and Israeli-Arab protestors hold posters of Mohammed Allaan. August 9, 2015.Credit: AFP
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

Mohammed Allaan, the hunger-striking Palestinian administrative detainee whose condition has generated a public storm, woke up on Tuesday following an improvement in his condition, allowing his doctors to withdraw sedatives. 

Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon announced that Allaan is conscious, communicating and continuing to receive vital medical treatment. Allaan declared after awakening that he will continue his hunger strike, now in its 64th day, and rejects the state’s offer to release him if he leaves the country for four years. 

The state proposed this offer Monday during a High Court of Justice hearing on a petition calling for his release. Palestinian sources say a similar offer was made to him at an earlier stage, and he rejected it then as well. 

Attorney Jawad Boulous, the legal adviser of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, met Tuesday with Allaan and told Haaretz that the prisoner agreed to receive fluids intravenously for 24 hours, after it was explained to him that he was putting his life at imminent risk without them. Allaan agreed in hope that there would be some development in his case during this period, whether from the High Court of Justice, which is to hold another hearing in his case Wednesday, or from the ongoing negotiations with the military prosecution about his release. 

One of Allan’s lawyers told Haaretz that his client rejects any proposal that involves expelling him or distance him from his family. He added, however, that Allaan in the past had expressed willingness to stop the hunger strike if the state would agree to release him for Id al-Adha, the Muslim feast of the sacrifice, that falls toward the end of September – two months before the end of his administrative detention order. 

On Friday, Allan was sedated and put on a respirator after losing consciousness. Connecting him to the respirator was the first medical procedure performed on him since he had started to be hospitalized at various hospitals in Israel. During his hospitalizations he had been receiving salts and vitamins intravenously, and at this stage it isn’t known if the hunger strike has caused irreversible damage to this health.

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