Palestinian Hunger Striker Near Death
by Stephen Lendman
Thousands of Palestinian political prisoners languish unjustly in Israel’s gulag hell. Hundreds are held administratively - uncharged, untried because they committed no crimes.
Alleging they planned them is Israel’s phony way of justifying the unjustifiable. Hunger striking for justice is the only way Palestinian prisoners can call attention to their wrongful incarceration.
It’s a Palestinian tradition. Many previous hunger strikers preceded current ones. A previous article discussed Muhammad Allan hunger striking since mid-June - 60 days of torment, protesting for justice, willing to die for what’s right.
Friday he lapsed into coma after shivering severely. He clings to life precariously. He may not make it. Israel’s new law authorizes universally condemned force-feeding - brutal torture by any standard.
No medical professional observing Hippocratic Oath standards to do no harm would touch this Joseph Mengele-like practice. So far, Israel hasn’t gotten any physicians to go along.
Allan was put on a respirator Friday. On August 13, the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council, the Arab Association for Human Rights, Adalah and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel called for urgent action to save his life.
He’s currently at Barzilai hospital in Askalan. Samer Sama’an representing the Addameer prisoner support group visited him on Wednesday. He wants to live - but only a life of dignity and freedom, he explained.
Sama’an said despite his critical condition, he’s kept painfully shackled to what may become his deathbed - appalling inhumane treatment.
The above human rights groups issued a joint appeal on behalf of Allan, saying in part:
“The undersigned organizations (condemn the) continued arbitrary detention of Mohammad Allan under administrative detention” - a practice “violat(ing) international norms and standards as enshrined under the Fourth Geneva Convention which prohibits the systematic use of administrative detention by the occupying power against protected persons and limits its use for imperative security reasons and according to legal procedures which guarantee the right of a fair trial.”
“The continued detention of Mohammad Allan endangers his life and violates his most basic rights to fair trial and human dignity.”
“The undersigned organizations condemn Israel’s policy to allow the deterioration in the health condition of Mohammad Allan and refusing to negotiate his release in an attempt to escalate the current situation so as to proceed with force-feeding Mr. Allan and to undermine the use of hunger strikes as a non-violent form of protest by Palestinian prisoners and detainees who have no other means to protest and bring attention to the flagrant human rights violations they face in Israeli prisons.”
“Depriving Palestinian detainees and prisoners from their fundamental right to peaceful protest by the means of hunger strikes is a major setback to the just demands of Palestinian detainees and prisoners in Israeli prisons who are demanding justice, dignity and basic rights.”
“We hereby urge immediate action including writing to relevant authorities, decision-makers, international bodies, diplomatic missions, and United Nations representative offices and agencies to pressure Israeli authorities to stop the use of administrative detention, to dismiss their plans to force-feed Mr. Allan and to put an end to his arbitrary detention in blatant violation of international human rights and humanitarian law guarantees and standards - in order to save his life.”
Palestinian lawyer Jawad Boulos visited Allan days earlier. He can’t stand, has breathing difficulties, experiences pain throughout his body, can’t rise from bed and nearly can’t see. He’s suffering horrifically.
Three prison personnel guarding him round the clock injured him, Boulos explained. They act “as if they were inside the prison, without the slightest concern for their presence in a hospital.”
Lawyer Abeer Baker filed an urgent request for his medical release after the ICRC called his condition critical.
On Friday, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel issued a statement saying:
“Once Alan lost consciousness, medical ethics requires that his doctors act in accordance to their understanding of the patient's will and their discretion.”
“PHR-Israel hopes and believes that the doctors in Barzilai Hospital have acted with respect and in accordance with Allan`s will.”
“The situation we are now facing could have been avoided. It was possible to hold a dialogue and reach an understanding that would have prevented this deterioration.”
“It is time for the Israeli political leadership to reach a decision to release Allan from administrative detention and enable his doctors to concentrate on fighting for his life.”
On Friday, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said Allan’s health deteriorated dangerously overnight. The ICRC sent a doctor to Barzilai Medical Center. Allan is getting fluids and sodium intravenously.
Palestinian MK Usama al-Saadi said he “might be a martyr in hours as his health condition is very critical.”
Israel’s Prison Service declared a state of alert in all facilities. All sections were closed. Palestinian Authority Prisoners Committee head Issa Qaraqe said curfews were imposed in Ramon, Nafha, Negev and Eshel prisons.
Former political prisoner numerous times before/twice longterm hunger striker Khader Adnan called for mass “Palestinian resistance” to save Allan’s life.
A Friday Joint (Arab) List party statement said all JL MKs are visiting Allan at Barzilai Medical Center. Calls for an immediate protest on his behalf were made.
The Jerusalem Post
reported “(f)ighting broke out between Jews and Arabs Wednesday night at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, as a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian hunger striker (Allan) turned violent.”
Extremist Jews confronted Israeli Arabs - yelling “Muhammad is a pig” and other racist epithets. (S)ome carr(ied) signs that police said constituted incitement.” Violence and arrests followed, including peaceful Arab demonstrators.
Around 200 Palestinian political prisoners went on hunger strike for a week in early August - protesting appalling prison conditions. Others joined them. How far this goes remains to be seen.
Israel repression of Palestinians in or out of prison is some of the most ruthless imposed anywhere. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners began a campaign of disobedience - protesting their appalling treatment.
An entire population needs to rise up against the oppressor Israeli state - a cancer harming Jews and non-Jews alike.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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