Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed Allan loses consciousness

Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed Allan loses consciousness
3 min read
16 August, 2015
Mohammad Allan, a Palestinian in an Israeli jail who is in the ninth week of his hunger strike fell unconscious at an Israeli hospital on Friday.
Khader Adnan had staged a 56-day hunger strike before his release in July [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty]

A Palestinian held in jail by Israeli occupation authorties and who has been on a hunger strike for 60 days slipped into unconsciousness on Friday and was being treated in the intensive care unit at an Israeli hospital.  

Naser Allan sai that his son Mohammed, who went on a hunger strike in May, lost consciousness early in the morning and was taken to the ICU at Barzilai hospital in southern Israel where he was hospitalised.  

Mohammed Allan was in stable condition and sedated after receiving medical treatment, Dr. Hezy Levy said, adding there was no talk of force feeding.  

"After 60 days of fasting the body doesn't get many substances that are vital for the functioning of the critical systems in his body. We knew that, we warned about that, we spoke with the family about that ... but we didn't do anything as long as he expressed his will not to get treatment," Levy said.  

Doctors were giving Allan fluids, electrolytes and vitamins after his condition deteriorated Friday morning into loss of consciousness, convulsions and hallucinations. He was sedated and receiving oxygen, Levy said. 

Israel recently passed a law, widely condemned around the world, that allows a judge to sanction the force-feeding or administration of medical treatment to hunger striking prisoners if there is a threat to the inmate's life, even if the prisoner refuses. But it's still unclear if the disturbing procedure will be carried out.  

Critics say it is akin to torture and Israel's Medical Association has urged physicians not to cooperate with the measure.  

Palestinian prisoners have held rounds of hunger strikes over recent years, which have flared tensions on the streets. Israel fears a hunger striking prisoner's death could spark anger.  

"He is determined to continue his hunger strike," despite the risk to his life, Naser Allan said of his son. "Now he is in the hands of God and all we can do is pray to God to protect his life."  

The 30-year-old Allan was arrested in November 2014 and detained without charge for two six-month periods, under a measure called administrative detention. The policy allows Israel to hold Palestinians for months or years without charges.  

     Israel and the Israeli Prison Service are fully responsible for Mohammed Allan, who is at risk of dying at any moment.
Issa Qaraqe    

Over the past few years, Palestinian prisoners have staged a series of hunger strikes to protest administrative detention.  

Israeli media reported the military heightened its alert after news of Allan's condition spread. A military spokesman refused to comment.  

About two hundred Palestinians protested in Jerusalem.

Mohammed Allan has been suffering from general weakness, emaciation, hearing problems, migraines and numbness in most of his body as well difficulties speaking. He has lost a lot of weight and is suffering from insomnia.

The Palestinian Prisoners Affairs Commission said it is making concerted efforts together with the presidency, the PLO Executive Committee and the Foreign Ministry to put an end to Allan's suffering.

Issa Qaraqe, head of the Commission, said Israel and the Israeli Prison Service were fully responsible for Mohammed Allan, who he said was at risk of dying at any moment. 

Qaraqe also held the international community partly responsible for Allan's situation, calling on all free men and women in the world to act to put a stop to Israel's brutal practices and policies against Palestinian prisoners.

There are fears Mohammed Allan could become the first person to be forcibly fed.  Israel is reporetedly setting up a special ward to implement the force-feeding.