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Palestinian hunger striker goes into coma

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Palestinian and Israeli-Arab protesters hold posters of hunger striker Mohammed Allan during a rally calling for his release in the city of Beersheva on August 9, 2015. (AFP Photo)

Mohammed Allan, a Palestinian prisoner in Israeli detention who has been on hunger strike for two months, has slipped into a coma.

The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said Allan lost consciousness and went into a coma on Friday morning.

The society said that the activist’s health had dangerously deteriorated overnight, adding that he is currently connected to ventilators.

Issa Qaraqe, who heads the Palestinian Authority’s committee of prisoners’ affairs, also described Allan’s condition as very critical.

Meanwhile, Allan’s father, Nasser al-Din Allan, told Ma'an news agency on Thursday that Israel had been waiting for his son to enter a coma before force-feeding him.

The mother of Mohammed Allan, a Palestinian prisoner who is in a coma due to a long-term hunger strike, holds a portrait of her son during a rally calling for his release in the southern Israeli city of Beersheva on August 9, 2015. © AFP


Shortly following the announcement, the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) declared a state of alert in Israeli jails, shutting all sections and preventing prayers.

Qaraqe said that the IPS had enacted a complete curfew in Israel's Ramon, Nafha, Negev and Eshel jails.

Earlier this month, Israeli officials announced a decision to force-feed the Palestinian detainee who has been held without charge since November 2014.

Palestinians in Israeli jails regularly go on hunger strikes in protest at the prison conditions as well as the administrative detention policy, which allows indefinite imprisonment terms without charge.

On July 30, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) passed a law authorizing the force-feeding of Palestinians held in Israel’s jails to prevent Palestinian prisoners from pressuring the Israeli regime by refusing food.

The Tel Aviv regime is concerned that hunger strikes by Palestinians in Israeli prisons could end in death and trigger waves of protests in the occupied lands. 

Palestinian officials have condemned the controversial law, saying it contradicts all international treaties and conventions.

Earlier, a senior official with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) slammed the law as a “politically-motivated mechanism of torture which constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and conventions."

Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on July 29 that “feeding accompanied by threats, coercion, force or use of physical restraints is a form of inhuman and degrading treatment."

More than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly incarcerated in 17 Israeli prisons and detention centers, many of them without charge or trial.

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