Doctors Trying to Save Jihadi Hunger Striker

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli doctors were working on Sunday to save the life of Islamic Jihad terrorist Muhammad Allan, whose health has deteriorated after 62 days on a hunger strike.

Medical staff at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon took Allan off coma-inducing medication and switched him to intravenous fluids and minerals, the hospital director told Israel Radio.

Allan, who has refused to eat in protest against being held in administrative detention without trial, lost consciousness on Friday morning.

The armed wing of Islamic Jihad in Gaza threatened on Friday that if their operative dies, the group will resume rocket attacks in the South.

Ze’ev Elkin, minister of Immigration and Absorption (Likud), told reporters on Sunday that Israel cannot capitulate to his demand to be released from administrative detention.

“The state of Israel can’t allow itself to be held hostage to hunger strikes by prisoners because today it’s one prisoner and tomorrow it will be others,” Elkin said. “Today it’s a prisoner in administrative detention and tomorrow it will be someone who was sentenced to jail after a fair trial.”

“That is why the state passed legislation [mandating the force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners] and it needs to be implemented,” Elkin said.

The man was in stable condition, Dr. Hezy Levy said, but stressed that there was no talk of force feeding.

“After 60 days of fasting the body doesn’t get many substances that are vital for the functioning of the critical systems in his body. We knew that, we warned about that, we spoke with the family about that … but we didn’t do anything as long as he expressed his will not to get treatment,” Levy said.

A delegation of MK’s from the predominantly Arab Joint List visited the hospital on Sunday, accompanied by a doctor designated by the terrorist’s family to check on his condition.

Meanwhile, about 200 people protested on Sunday outside Barzilai.

Police were assigned to keep demonstrators for and against Allan from fighting one another. Five people were arrested outside of the hospital.

The protests moved to Ashkelon Junction at the entrance to the city after police barred the protesters from the immediate vicinity of Barzilai hospital.

Dozens blocked the entrance to the city and were throwing stones at police forces and some were also using pepper spray, police said.  Police were making arrests and using riot dispersal means.