Islamic Jihad: If Hunger Striker Dies, We'll Respond With Force Against Israel

Islamic Jihad says it will no longer be committed to maintaining calm if Mohammed Allaan, who lost consciousness after 60-day hunger strike, dies.

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A protester showing solidarity with Mohammed Allan in Be’er Sheva, August 9, 2015.
A protester showing solidarity with Mohammed Allan in Be’er Sheva, August 9, 2015.Credit: Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Islamic Jihad's military wing announced on Friday afternoon that it will respond with force if a Palestinian administrative detainee who has lost consciousness after 60 days on hunger strike, dies.

According to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades' spokesman, in the event of Mohammed Allaan's death, Islamic Jihad will hold Israel responsible, and will be free of any commitment to show restraint.

"The death of the young hero Mohammed Allaan will be a crime that Israel is responsible for," the announcement said, adding that his death would push them "to respond with force" and would "end all commitment to calm."

Allaan lost consciousness on Friday morning. He is the first Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner whose condition has deteriorated to the point where mechanical ventilation has been required.

Dr. Hazi Levi of Barzilai Medical Center said earlier on Friday that there are no intentions to force feed Allaan. "He is stable, but the situation is complex. Mohammed Allaan's life is in danger, he has been hunger-striking for 60 days. His body isn't receiving essential nutrients. The hospital has issued warnings and spoken to his family about his condition. At the same time, he requested not to receive treatment and his request was honored."

Dr. Levi notes that although Allaan is drinking tap water of his own volition, his condition deteriorated overnight and he required resuscitation. "His body began to spasm, he is hallucinating, experiencing breathing problems and has lost consciousness," said Dr. Levi, adding, "he's currently on a respirator, is receiving fluids and vitamins to ensure essential function of his bodily systems, in accordance with human rights principles."

From the moment he lost consciousness, issues surrounding force-feeding became moot from a medical and ethical standpoint. This is because in this state he does not feel pain and cannot physically refuse treatment. At this stage, doctors will work to save his life, even against his will, if necessary.

Two previous prominent hunger strikes, held by Khader Adnan and Samer Issawi, were ended by the strikers in a state of malaise after a deal leading to their respective releases from administrative detention was reached.

The Palestinian Prisoners Club announced on Friday that prisoners would protest en masse if Allaan dies. According to Palestinian reports, the call to take a stand crosses lines of factions among detainees.

Allaan's mother, meanwhile, was allowed to visit him Friday for the first time since he was moved to Barzilai Medical Center, Ashkelon. She said she was shocked by how her son looks after 60 days on hunger strike.

"My son is on the verge of death. I couldn't stay in the room in his condition. I couldn't do anything but kiss his hand and pray for him and shout at the doctors and the jailers to free him," she said. "My voice is echoing in all the world, I am turning to anyone who can help. Release my son he didn't do anything."

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