Issa Qaraqe, Palestinian minister of prisoners’ affairs, has voiced suspicion that Mohamed Allaan – a hunger-striking Palestinian activist jailed by Israel – was force-fed on Friday by officials at Israel’s Barzilai Hospital.
In a Monday press statement, Qaraqe suggested that hospital officials had sedated and force-fed Allaan intravenously in order to “break his will and end his hunger strike”, which has drawn international media attention and sparked demonstrations both in Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
According to Israeli press reports, 15 people were arrested on Sunday for taking part in protests held outside Barzilai Hospital, which is located in Israel’s southern city of Ashkelon.
Qaraqe said that Palestinian physician Hani Abdeen had been prevented from visiting Aalaan in the hospital and that hospital officials had failed to provide a clear medical report on the hunger-striking prisoner.
This, the minister asserted, “strongly suggests that the Israeli authorities are covering up the truth about the seriousness of his condition”.
Qaraqe’s assertions come in the wake of legislation approved last month by the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) allowing Israeli prison authorities to force-feed hunger-striking inmates if their lives were found to be at risk.
Allaan, a 31-year-old lawyer from the occupied West Bank and a reported member of Palestine’s Islamic Jihad resistance group, was detained by Israeli authorities last November.
On June 18, Allaan began a hunger strike to protest his ongoing detention without charge or trial.
On Friday, after 64 days of ingesting only water, Allaan slipped into a coma after having been put on a respirator one day earlier, according to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, an NGO.
The Times of Israel has reported that Israel’s High Court of Justice would convene on Monday to discuss a request lodged by Allaan’s lawyer calling for the prisoner’s immediate release on medical grounds.
© Copyright Andolu Ajansi