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19 Aug, 2015 18:38

Palestinian detainee ‘ends 65-day hunger strike’ as arrest warrant suspended by Israeli court

Mohammed Allan, a Palestinian detainee protesting against his detention without trial, has ended his 65-day hunger strike after the Israeli Supreme Court suspended his arrest warrant, his lawyer told RT. Allan will remain hospitalized after having suffered brain damage.

“Mohammed Allan is now treated in the hospital as a patient, not as a prisoner,” Allan’s lawyer, Jameel Khatib, told RT by phone. “Right now, he's free and they will treat him as a free person … I believe that they will not renew his administrative detention.”

After the announcement of the court ruling, a reports emerged stating that the Palestinian had been put back into a medically-induced coma due to his deteriorating condition. The report by i24news cited information from medical sources.

The lawyer confirmed that his client was in bad shape but could not provide any details on Allan’s health.

“We hopefully believe that tomorrow, or in the next few days, we will have more details about his medical situation,” Khatib said. “But, until this moment, we don't know exactly if there's brain damage or not.”

A political activist, Allan was held without a trial under so-called administrative detention on the grounds of suspected links to the Islamic Jihad movement. In June, he went on hunger strike to protest the detention, highly opposed by Palestinians and human rights groups, but which Israel claimed to be a security measure.

Last Friday, he fell unconscious to wake from his coma on Tuesday, having received vitamins and nutrients intravenously.

READ MORE: Rallies in Israel, West Bank call for release of Palestinian hunger-striker in coma

Allan currently remains at Barzilai hospital, Ashqelon, where his family is able to visit. Doctor Hezy Levy, who provides him with medical treatment, told AP that "there is some damage in a part of the brain that was probably caused by a lack of vitamins ... and it is expressed in other systems of his body."

"I hope that it is reversible. I cannot predict right now to what extent it is reversible," he said, adding that the detainee was "incoherent" and "not connecting with his surroundings."

The court ruled that Allan will remain hospitalized, but if his condition improves he can petition for his release.

Last Monday, doctors at Barzilai hospital, to which he was transferred from Soroka medical center, refused to force-feed the detainee. However, the hospital’s director said in a statement that the center may resort to this measure “to save his life” if his condition deteriorates.

The Israeli government saw the release of Allan as potentially encouraging for 370 other Palestinian detainees, who could also challenge the system by refusing food, Reuters reported.

A government lawyer stated in court that he would be released if a MRI scan showed irreversible brain damage, meaning that the man would pose no threat to the country’s security. However, the results of imaging were “not conclusive”.

Allan, 31, was detained last November, accused of having affiliations with a Palestinian militant group which he later denied. Israel says its practice of keeping suspects behind bars without any charge or trial is vital to prevent militant attacks, but human rights activists believe that it is overused.

Hundreds of people have protested in northern Israel and the West Bank over recent days. They showed their support for Allan, who had been fasting for two months, calling for his immediate release.