Israel is set to release famed Palestinian detainee Muhammad Allan on Wednesday, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society said Tuesday, ending a year-long stint in administrative detention that he undertook a 66-day hunger strike to protest.Israeli authorities agreed to release Allan on Nov. 4 in September, but later caused concern when they said they may renege on their promise if they received ‘new intelligence about him.’
The head of the prisoners’ society, Qadura Fares, told Ma’an News Agency that as far as he was aware, Israel intended to go through with the release on Wednesday afternoon.
‘Nothing is definite, but let us hope that they will respect what they are promising,’ he said.
He said that Allan would be released from the Ofer detention center, where his family would be waiting to receive him.
Fares said that Allan was in good medical condition, but may still require medical attention. He added that Allan had not suffered any brain damage during the 66-day hunger strike that brought him close to death.
Allan, a 31-year-old lawyer from the southern Nablus village of Einabus, was held without charge or trial for seven months before he began a hunger strike in June to protest what he described as ‘the absence of law in Israeli court.’
He ended the hunger strike 66 days later after Israel’s Supreme Court agreed to suspend his sentence. He had slipped into a coma twice, and there were fears he may have suffered brain damage.
Israel later reinstated his sentence when his health improved. Allan immediately began another hunger strike, but ended it two days later following consultations with his lawyer.
Israel’s policy of administrative detention, which is almost exclusively used to detain Palestinians, has been strongly criticized by the international community as well as both Israeli and Palestinian rights activists.
According to the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the majority of prisoners who go on hunger strike are Palestinians in administrative detention.
The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, approved a law in July allowing the Israeli Prison Service to force feed hunger strikers if their condition becomes life-threatening, sparking outcry from rights groups and medical experts.
Killian Redden in Bethlehem contributed reporting.
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