Occupied Jerusalem: The Israeli regime on Monday offered to free a Palestinian activist whose two-month hunger strike has left him in a coma — but only if he goes abroad, a demand his lawyer immediately dismissed.
The regime’s justice ministry’s offer came as its top court heard arguments over whether to release Mohammad Allan, 31, who lapsed into a coma on Friday after ingesting only water since June 18.
After hearing the arguments, the High Court set another hearing for Wednesday. Allan’s lawyers argued that his condition negated the authorities’ argument that he posed a danger.
The justice ministry released a statement ahead of the hearing offering to free Allan “if he agrees to go abroad for a period of four years”.
“We are categorically refusing that proposal,” Allan lawyer Jamil Al Khatib.
Since Allan lost consciousness, doctors have used artificial breathing equipment, fluids and vitamins to keep him alive.
A doctor at the hospital where Allan is being treated told the court that he had not appeared to suffer irreversible damage but would probably not survive if he resumed his hunger strike.
Allan has been on hunger strike in protest at his internment under administrative detention, which allows people to be held without charge for six-month intervals that can be renewed indefinitely.
He has been in custody since November 2014.
The Islamic Jihad movement describes Allan as a member, as does the Israeli regime which has used administrative detention to hold Palestinians it deems to be “security risks” while not divulging what the authorities view as “sensitive intelligence”.
Many Palestinian prisoners have staged hunger strikes, including those on administrative detention.
Allan’s protest has also raised questions over whether Israel would seek to invoke a law passed last month allowing prisoners to be force-fed when their lives are in danger.
Despite earlier appearing to gain preliminary approval from the Israeli government allowing a Palestinian physician to medically examine the hunger striking prisoner, the Palestinian Prisoner and Detained Affairs Association has been prevented from gaining access to Allan, Haaretz has claimed.
In addition, a Palestinian doctor, Dr Hani Abdeen, and a Palestinian Knesset member who is also a doctor, Ahmad Al Tibi, were prevented by Israel Prison Service guards from seeing Allan, the Maariv news site stated.
Arab List MK Al Tibi claimed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally chose to prevent the visit, a decision Al Tibi termed “inexplicable.”
The conflicts outside the Barzilai Medical Centre occurred between approximately 200 Jewish and Arab protesters as members of a demonstration held by far-right Jewish protesters, including prominent lawyer Itamar Ben-Gvir, clashed with Arab supporters of Allan. In addition to the arrests, two people received minor injuries.
— with inputs from Nasouh Nazzal, Ramallah Correspondent