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A Palestinian woman holds a poster bearing a portrait of Mohammed Allan. (Photo: AFP)

Palestinian Protester Vows to Continue Hunger Strike After Waking from Coma

Israel's High Court will on Wednesday continue hearing a petition by Allan's lawyers calling for his release on medical grounds

Deirdre Fulton

Palestinian hunger striker Mohammad Allan, whose case pits doctors and activists against the Israeli government, awoke from a four-day coma on Tuesday and immediately pledged to resume fasting—and to refuse water—if Israel did not resolve his case within 24 hours.

Allan, who is being held at Barzilai Medical Center, is demanding an end to his administrative detention and to be released. He has been in Israeli custody without charge or trial since November 6, 2014.

The 31-year-old Palestinian attorney from the village of Einabus slipped into a coma late Thursday night after ingesting only water since June 18 in protest of his detention. After Allan entered the coma, doctors began treating him with artificial breathing equipment, fluids, and vitamins to keep him alive.

According to Agence France-Presse, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society said that upon waking, Allan "declared in front of his doctors that if there is not any solution to his case within 24 hours he will ask for all treatment to stop and will stop drinking water." He has reportedly agreed to "take some supplements for 24 hours while he waits for a resolution."

Allan's protest has raised questions over whether Israel will seek to invoke a law passed last month allowing prisoners to be force-fed when their lives are in danger. At a hearing on Monday, one of the doctors treating Allan said that if he were to resume his hunger strike he was likely to go into a fatal decline.

Prisoner rights group Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel have warned that force-feeding Allan could kill him, as it did several other Palestinian prisoners when Israel used the measure against them in the 1980s.

Israel's High Court will on Wednesday continue hearing a petition by Allan's lawyers calling for his release on medical grounds.

The Ma'an news agency reports that Allan was not willing to be deported abroad for four years—an offer the Israeli state made Monday during a Supreme Court hearing while listening to arguments on whether to release him.

"We are categorically refusing that proposal," said Allan's lawyer, Jamil al-Khatib.


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