Israel frees former hunger strike Palestinian

Protestors hold up Palestinian flags and posters with pictures of Palestinian detainee Mohammed Allan and Arabic that reads ‘no to the administrative detention, freedom for the lawyer prisoner, detained November 1, 2014,’ in Jerusalem's old city, Aug. 14, 2015. (File photo: AP)

Israeli authorities said late on Wednesday they had freed a Palestinian detainee who survived a two-month hunger strike, after holding him for a year without trial in a case that sharpened tensions in the West Bank.

“Mohammed Allan has just been released,” Sivan Weizman, a spokeswoman for Israel Prisons Service, said in a message.

Allan’s father Nasser al-Din Allan told AFP earlier that he would take his son for a hospital checkup on Thursday.

Allan was arrested in November 2014 and held under a measure known as administrative detention, which allows imprisonment without trial for six-month periods renewable indefinitely.

In June, he began a two-month hunger strike that brought him close to death and heightened tensions in the occupied West Bank.

Israel’s High Court suspended his detention on August 19 while he was receiving medical treatment following his hunger strike, which twice left him in a coma.

His detention was renewed in September after his health improved and he was discharged from hospital.

Allan then resumed his hunger strike, only to call it off two days later. The Israeli army subsequently announced that his detention would not be renewed and he would be released on November 4.

The Islamic Jihad group (PIJ) says the 31-year-old lawyer from Einabus, near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, is a member.

Israel’s Shin Bet internal security agency says that before his arrest, Allan “was in contact with an Islamic Jihad terrorist” with the aim of carrying out large-scale attacks.

He was previously imprisoned from 2006 to 2009 for allegedly seeking to recruit suicide bombers and aiding wanted Palestinians.

Allan’s release comes as a wave of violence rocks the West Bank and Israel.

Nine Israelis, 70 Palestinians - around half of them alleged attackers - and an Arab Israeli have died since the start of October.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:49 - GMT 06:49