Supreme Court hears petition demanding release of hunger striking Palestinian detainee Mohammed Allan; next hearing set for Wednesday 19 August 2015

Adalah: The court's request to the state indicates that it believes the petitioners' arguments are correct; the continuation of the detention is therefore very problematic from a legal point of view.

Adalah: The deteriorating health status of Mohammed Allan eliminates the alleged security concerns that the Israeli authorities rely on to justify his administrative detention, and changes the objective considerations for his detention.


On 17 August 2015, the Israeli Supreme Court held a hearing on an urgent petition filed by Adalah and private attorney Jamil al-Khatib demanding that the General Security Service (GSS or Shabak) and the Military Commander of the occupied West Bank rescind the administrative detention order against Palestinian detainee Mohammed Allan, who has been on hunger strike for more than two months to protest his administrative detention since November 2014. Two cases are currently pending in this matter: one petition filed by Adalah and private attorney Jamil al-Khatib, and one appeal by the Palestinian Authority's Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs.


In their petition, Adalah and el-Khatib argued that, "The deterioration of the health status of a prisoner on hunger strike drastically changes the objective conditions of his administrative detention, and makes it imperative for the authorities to reconsider the detention order." The petitioners stressed that the drastic deterioration in Mohammed Allan's health situation, since he became unconscious on Friday 14 August 2015, eliminates the security concerns that allegedly justify his administrative detention.


The petition added that administrative detention is supposed to be used rarely and as a preventive measure in order to "prevent immediate danger". However, the Israeli security authorities use it sweepingly as a punitive measure against Palestinians (more than 400 Palestinians are currently held in administrative detention).


In response to the petition, the state suggested before the Supreme Court that it would consider releasing Allan, if he agreed to be deported for four years. Adalah and Attorney al-Khatib completely rejected the state's proposal and continued to demand Allan's release. They argued that that the state's proposal "proves that by ordering administrative detention, Israel's objective is to impose a lengthy and harsh punishment on detainees without charge or trial for political reasons, not legal."


The Supreme Court will hold another hearing on the case on Wednesday 19 August 2015. The Court asked the state to provide updates on Allan's medical condition, and suggested that it enter negotiations with the petitioners to discuss a possible agreement. A decision on the case will be made after the second hearing.


Adalah Attorneys Sawsan Zaher and Aram Mahameed and Attorney al-Khatib commented that, "The court gave the state an opportunity to reconsider whether it should continue keeping Allan in administrative detention. The court's request to the state to show cause in itself indicates that the court believes that the petitioners' arguments against the detention are correct; therefore, the continuation, of the detention is very problematic from a legal point of view."


Adalah further contends that, "The detention of Mohammed Allan is a retaliatory measure, as he does not pose any security threat, especially after the deterioration of his health due to two months of hunger strike." Further, Adalah added that, "This proposal may be a dangerous precedent by which the Israeli security authorities, through the use of administrative detention, can deport Palestinians from their country. This forced deportation violates international humanitarian law."


The severe deterioration of Allan's health, his entry into a coma, and his inability to move, presents an immediate danger to his life and safety. His continued administrative detention will ultimately lead to serious bodily harm, and constitutes an immediate danger to his life.



Case Citation: HCJ 5580/15, Mohammed Allan v. General Security Service, et al. (case pending)


See also:


Adalah News Update, Adalah demands that Barzilai Hospital refrain from force-feeding Palestinian detainee Mohammed Allan, 16 August 2015


The Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council, the Arab Association for Human Rights, Adalah and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Call for Urgent Action: Palestinian Administrative Detainee on Hunger Strike in Critical Condition, 13 August 2015


Joint Press Release Adalah and Al Mezan, Israel enacted "Force-Feeding Law" to break the will of Palestinian detainees on hunger strike against inhumane conditions, 31 July 2015