Israel Re-Arrests Palestinian Hunger Striker Mohammed Allan After Release From Hospital

Israeli authorities re-arrested Mohammed Allan, a Palestinian man suspected of being a member of militant group Islamic Jihad, following his release from hospital on Wednesday, the Israeli military confirmed.

In June, the 31-year-old lawyer began a 65-day hunger strike to protest his detention without charge. The Israeli High Court of Justice last month suspended his detention after tests revealed that Allan's health had deteriorated to the point that he had suffered brain damage.

Allan was arrested by Israeli police and taken into custody at a medical center in Israel's Nitzan Prison. Shin Bet, Israel's domestic security agency, confirmed in a statement to The Jerusalem Post that the IDF Central Command, a regional unit of the Israeli military, had "ended the suspension" of Allan's administrative detention order based on the agency's recommendation that he still poses a threat to Israel's national security.

Israel's administrative detention policy is a controversial measure that enables Israeli authorities to detain a suspect without a trial or without the detainee knowing the nature of his or her alleged crimes.

Newsweek subscription offers >

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Peter Lerner told Newsweek by phone that Allan was detained upon his release because of security concerns.

"I can confirm he was rearrested and taken to prison to complete his prison sentence based on his medical condition," he says. "He still poses a threat and for that reason he was arrested."

Allan ended his hunger strike last month after the court suspended his imprisonment. Family members told the BBC that he would resume the hunger strike because of his return to detention.

Palestinian legal aid organization Adalah condemned the rearrest of Allan in a statement published by The Times of Israel. "The fact that the arrest warrant was renewed immediately after Allan's medical condition improved indicates that it is a vindictive and arbitrary step that is not based on the infrastructure needed to justify his continued administrative detention," the statement read.

Newsweek subscription offers >

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, of which Allan is suspected of being a member, has threatened to strike Israel with rockets if Allan's hunger strike ends in his death.

Last month, the former Israeli foreign minister and leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, Avigdor Lieberman, condemned the Israeli government's stance on the case of the Palestinian hunger striker, saying that he should have been left to die.

"If you detain someone, then go all the way. Don't give in to any pressure, and if he wants to hunger strike to death, let him die," Lieberman said.

According to figures released by the Israel Prison Service earlier this year, 396 Palestinians, including one woman, were still being held in administrative detention at the end of March.

Israel maintains that the administrative detention process helps to protect against both Palestinian and Israeli violence without making vital intelligence sources public. The process is used in circumstances where no other legal means are deemed sufficient to achieve the aim of ensuring national security.

Last month, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon sanctioned the first administrative detention order against a suspected Jewish extremist following deadly attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Israel Re-Arrests Palestinian Hunger Striker Mohammed Allan After Release From Hospital |