Israeli doctors refuse to force feed hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Doctors at an Israeli hospital refused to force feed a Palestinian prisoner who has been on a hunger strike for over 50 days.

Following the refusals on Sunday, prisoner Mohammed Allaan was moved from Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba to the Barzalai Medical Center in Ashkelon, according to reports.

Allaan, who has been held in administrative detention without charges since November, also is refusing any form of medical tests.

The International Committee of the Red Cross on Friday said in a statement that Allaan’s life is “at immediate risk,” and called on Israel to allow his family to visit him in the hospital.

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ICRC delegates and medical staff have visited Allaan frequently in recent weeks to monitor both his health and his treatment by prison authorities.

The instructions to force feed Allan is the first test of a law passed by Knesset late last month allowing the force feeding of prisoners.

The Israeli Medical Association plans to challenge the law in the Supreme Court and has urged physicians not to comply with it.

On Sunday, about 180 Palestinian prisoners ended a hunger strike launched the day before to protest their prison conditions, saying that Israeli prison authorities had agreed to some of their demands. The Israel Prison Service has denied that a deal was struck.

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