A hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner held on administrative detention in Israeli prisons has lost consciousness and is in critical condition after his health rapidly deteriorated. Mohammed Allan, 33, who has been on hunger strike for 60 days, was taken to the Ashkelon's Barzilai hospital after being moved from the intensive care unit in Soroka medical centre in Be'er Sheva, where he was in critical condition. He was put on respirator and given fluids by IV but he is now in stable conditions, according to the hospital.
Allan was reportedly still refusing any medical treatment or food before he lost consciousness and doctors refused to force-feed him. An attorney from the village of Einabus, south of Nablus, Allan has been jailed without trial or charges under the controversial Israeli system of administrative detention.
Thousands of Palestinian prisoners have gone on hunger strike to protest against this system that allows them to be tried in secretive military tribunals with the prospect of being thrown in jail for months and even years without facing formal charges or trial.
"Unlike a criminal proceeding, administrative detention is not intended to punish the detainee for an offense that has been committed, but to prevent a future offense," Israeli human rights group B'Tselem explains on its website. "The entire process is secretive: administrative detainees are not informed of the reason for their detention or the specific allegations against them."
According to figures of the Israel Prison Service (IPS), 396 Palestinians from the West Bank, including one woman, are being held in administrative detention. In July, the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, approved a law enabling prison authorities to force-feed prisoners on hunger strike. The move has been met with furious opposition by Israel's medical association, which considers it a form of torture, and appealed to doctors to boycott it.