A Palestinian prisoner being held without charge by the Israeli authorities has slipped into a coma after 60 days on hunger strike, his lawyer confirmed today.
Mohammed Allan is accused of being a member of Islamic Jihad and has been in administrative detention since November.
The 31-year-old lawyer is now on a respirator and is receiving fluids.
A hospital spokesperson said his condition is stable and he is receiving fluids intravenously – but social media reports suggest his mother has seen him and said he will “die soon”.
Israeli authorities have resolved to force-feed Allan, with a law passed by the Knesset last month legalising the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike if their lives are in danger.
However, doctors at the Ashkelon hospital where he is being treated have refused to undertake the controversial procedure.
Allan was reportedly transferred to the town’s Barzilai Medical Centre on Monday morning, and although the hospital’s medical director is willing to force-feed him, an overwhelming majority of Israeli doctors remain opposed to the practice.
His lawyer, Jamil el-Khatib, said his client will continue his hunger strike “because he believes that he is innocent and he is not guilty and he will continue until he gets his freedom”.
The lawyer had previously described Allan’s condition as “very frail” – and suggested that force-feeding could “kill him”.
Mohammed’s brother, Amid Allan, added: “Force-feeding him would be the equivalent to murdering the prisoner”.
The Israeli government’s approach to those on hunger strike – referred to as a “fundamental human right” by the UN – has attracted criticism from campaigners.
Pressure group Physicians for Human Rights said the new law “pushes the medical community to severely violate medical ethics for political gains, as was done in other dark regimes in history.”
There are currently 400 Palestinians being held in administrative detention, according to the Israeli prison service and human rights group B’Tselem.
And last week, two far-right Jewish ultranationalists were imprisoned for six months without charge under administrative detention in the wake of the fatal arson attack on a Palestinian home in the West Bank.