JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian prisoner being held in Israel who undertook a 65-day hunger strike to protest his incarceration was released.
Muhammad Allaan was released from prison late Wednesday night after spending a year in administrative attention, under which a prisoner can be held for six months without being charged or tried. The order can be renewed indefinitely.
Allaan was taken to a hospital in Tulkarem, in the West Bank, for a medical checkup before returning to his home near Nablus, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
He thanked his supporters, saying that the Palestinian people “proved that they have not forgotten the Palestinian prisoners,” The Jerusalem Post reported.
Allaan began a hunger strike in June after seven months in administrative detention to protest being held without charges or a trial. He ended his hunger strike in August after Israel’s Supreme Court suspended, but did not cancel, his administrative detention order over his declining health due to the hunger strike. Allaan reportedly suffered brain damage from the hunger strike; it was unclear whether the damage was reversible.
He was jailed again in mid-September after being released from an Ashkelon hospital and restarted his hunger strike, abandoning it after two days due to health concerns. An Israeli military court at the time said he would be released at the end of the current six-month administrative detention order if he refrained from additional hunger strikes.
His hunger strike prompted Israel to pass legislation last month permitting force-feeding. The Israeli Medical Association has said it plans to challenge the law in the Supreme Court and urged physicians not to comply with it. Doctors in two Israeli hospitals refused to perform tests on and provide nutrition to Allaan without his consent.