Israeli Arabs rally for hunger strike Palestinian

AFP , Saturday 15 Aug 2015

Mohammed Allan
A Palestinian woman holds a picture depicting Palestinian detainee Mohammed Allan during a protest in solidarity with Allan, in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah August 14, 2015. (Photo: Reuters)

Hundreds of Israeli Arabs staged a peaceful protest Saturday in support of a Palestinian held by Israel who has slipped into a coma after nearly two months on hunger strike.

Approximately 200 people including members of parliament joined the rally led by Sheikh Raed Salah, a firebrand preacher who heads the Islamic Movement's radical northern wing.

Demonstrators at the rally in Wadi Ara, north Israel, carried Palestinian flags and placards calling for the immediate release of 31-year-old Mohammed Allan and an end to his administrative detention, a procedure allowing indefinite detention without charge.

Allan, an Islamic Jihad activist who has been held since November, has been on hunger strike since June 18, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Club.

On Friday, he lost consciousness at the Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon and was given fluids and salts intravenously, and is breathing with the aid of an artificial respirator.

A hospital spokeswoman on Saturday said his condition was stable, noting that the treatment was approved by Allan's family and adding that he would stay on the respirator at least until Sunday.

Allan had been refusing food as well as medical treatment, and it was feared he might be force-fed just weeks after Israel passed a law enabling the controversial procedure.

In the southern West Bank city of Hebron dozens of demonstrators also held a peaceful rally for Allan, holding his picture and demanding his immediate release, an AFP reporter said.

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