Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Israel's top court weighs release of hunger striker as health worsens


JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel's top court considered Wednesday whether to free a Palestinian detainee who has been on hunger strike 65 days, as Palestinian officials said his health had further deteriorated making him unable to communicate.

The case of Mohammed Allan, a 31-year-old lawyer from southern Nablus, has put intense pressure on Israeli authorities, who have detained him without charge since November.

Israel's High Court began a hearing on Wednesday afternoon on whether to release him due to his health. The proceedings were being held in secret in order to discuss his medical condition and security files.

Discussions were also said to have taken place outside the court with the aim of reaching a deal.

Issa Qaraqe, the head of the Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners' Affairs, said Wednesday morning that the Israeli military prosecution had offered to release Allan when his administrative detention expires on Nov. 3.

Qaraqe said that Israel would also pledge not to detain Allan under administrative detention again.

However, the head of the Palestinian Prisoner's Society, Qadura Fares, said that no deal was reached because Allan was no longer able to communicate.

Fares said that the hunger striker was undergoing an MRI scan to check the state of his brain, adding that his state of health was now critical.

The hunger striker regained consciousness on Tuesday after being in a coma more than four days, but pledged to resume fasting if Israel did not resolve his case within 24 hours, the prisoner's society said. more