Brawl in hospital of recovering Palestinian hunger striker

The clash happened at the Barzilai hospital where Mohammed Allan is being treated

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A fight erupted in a hospital on Wednesday between Jewish Israelis and relatives of a Palestinian recovering from a two-month hunger strike to protest his detention without trial, police said.

The night-time clash happened at the Barzilai hospital in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon where the former hunger striker, Mohammed Allan, is being treated.

“Police called to the scene separated the two sides until tempers cooled,” a statement said.

“Five people involved in the fight and in disturbing public order... were arrested,” it said, adding the cause of the fight was unclear.

Israeli news website Ynet said the scuffle involved relatives of Allan and the family of a Jewish patient also being treated at the Barzilai.

It said hospital equipment was damaged but did not say what sparked the incident.

Allan, 31, ended his hunger strike on Thursday after Israel’s top court suspended an order under which he had been detained without trial since November.

Allan had twice been in a coma and has reportedly vowed to resume fasting if the courts reinstate his detention.

On August 16 his Arab supporters and Jewish detractors clashed with police near the hospital.

At the time, Allan’s supporters had planned to stage a rally outside the hospital but Jewish rightwing activists confronted them, chanting racist slogans and saying they hoped Allan died.