Israeli court hears plea on release of Palestinian hunger striker

Jerusalem, Aug 19 (IANS) Israel’s top court held a hearing on Wednesday to decide whether to release a high-profile Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for 64 days.

The Supreme Court has yet not decided on whether to accept a petition to release Mohammad Allan on health grounds. Allan is protesting his imprisonment without trial since November 2014, Xinhua reported.

Earlier on Wednesday, the State Attorney’s Office ordered a medical examination and said Allan could be released immediately if a permanent damage is diagnosed.

An initial statement by the Barzilai hospital in southern Israel, where Allan is being held, said MRI scans could not detect any brain damage.

But later the hospital director, Hezi Levi, said damage was observed, noting it is not yet clear whether the damage is reversible.

“The MRI showed damage to one of his lobes, apparently due to vitamin deficiency,” Levi told reporters at the hospital.

“During the day, his condition was further deteriorated and he was gradually losing coherent communication with his surroundings, ” he said, adding that Allan was “confused”.

Allan, a 31-year-old lawyer from the West Bank village of Einbous near Nablus, is protesting his administrative detention, a measure allowing Israel to hold detainees indefinitely without charging them or allowing them to stand trial.

His hunger strike aroused protests and tensions in the West Bank, with dozens of rallies of support throughout the Palestinian National Authority and Israel.

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