JERUSALEM – A Palestinian detainee who has been on a hunger strike for 60 days slipped into unconsciousness on Friday and was taken into the intensive care unit at an Israeli hospital, his father said.
Naser Allan told The Associated Press that his son Mohammed, who went on a hunger strike in May, lost consciousness early in the morning and was then taken to the ICU at Barzalai hospital in southern Israel where he is hospitalized.
Mohammed had in the past been imprisoned for his affiliation with the Islamic Jihad, a violent Palestinian militant group, the father said.
Israel recently passed a law that allows a judge to sanction the force-feeding or administration of medical treatment to hunger striking prisoners if there is a threat to the inmate's life, even if the prisoner refuses. But it's still unclear if the contentious procedure will be carried out.
Critics say it is akin to torture and Israel's Medical Association has urged physicians not to cooperate with the measure.
Palestinians prisoners have held rounds of hunger strikes over recent years, which have flared tensions on the streets. Israel fears a hunger striking prisoner's death could spark violence.
"He is determined to continue his hunger strike despite of life threatening," Naser Allan said of his son. "Now he is in hands of his God and all what we can do is praying to God to protect his life."
An Israeli-Arab parliamentarian from the Joint List, Osama Saadi, was at the hospital in Ashkelon and spoke with doctors. He said the hospital is providing him with liquids administered intravenously "in the arm" but that they are not force-feeding him. It was not clear what the liquids were.
He said Allan was not in a coma but that doctors are examining him with scanners to determine his condition.
"Doctors are dealing with his case, they are scanning his head," Saadi said.
Israeli media reported the military heightened its alert after news of his condition spread. A military spokesman refused to comment.