High Court Lifts Detention, Prisoner Ends Hunger Strike

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israel’s High Court ruled on Wednesday night that the administrative detention of Islamic Jihad hunger striker Muhammad Allan be suspended temporarily after a brain scan showed signs of possibly irreversible damage.

The judges said that if brain damage is found to be permanent, then his detention would be cancelled. On the other hand, if his situation improves or he requests transfer to another hospital, the matter would necessitate further hearings.

Judge Eliyakim Rubenstein explained that since in his current condition Allan poses no danger to public safety, the cause for administration detention does not apply.

After the court’s ruling was issued, Allan ended the 65-day hunger strike, his lawyer said Wednesday.

The prisoner remained in intensive care at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon where he is listed in serious condition, and his family will be permitted visits as if he were a regular patient rather than a prisoner.

Prior to Wednesday’s court decision, the state offered to release him in early November if he would agree to end the life-threatening hunger strike. The state also said that it would release him from custody in the event tests determined that the hunger strike had caused permanent brain damage.

Kamal Natur, a lawyer for Allan, told Army Radio on Wednesday that he would advise his client to accept the state’s latest offer.

On Tuesday, Allan’s lawyer said that he had refused an offer to be released on condition that he leave the country for four years.

Meanwhile, Dr. Aryeh Bachrach, head of the Bereaved Parents’ Forum in the Almagor Terror Victims’ group, attended Wednesday’s High Court hearing, where he urged the court not to give in to the hunger striker’s demands.

“I came here to protest the direction [in which] the court’s decision [is going] — to free the terrorist,” he said. He warned that such a decision would turn Israel from a country that is ruled by law into “a mockery.”

“This man brought himself to the medical situation he is in and, in accordance with the right of a person to his dignity and freedom, he should be left alone to die quietly,” Bachrach said. “There is no need to intervene, and certainly not to free him.”