JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel returned a Palestinian security detainee to prison on Wednesday after deeming him sufficiently recovered in hospital from a 65-day hunger strike that he began to protest being held without trial.
A relative said Mohammed Allan was resuming his fast now that he was again in custody.
Allan ended his hunger strike last month after Israel’s top court, citing his poor health, suspended his detention order - moves that dampened Palestinian rancor, which had threatened to spill over into bloodshed should he die.
Israel says Allan, 31, is an Islamic Jihad militant who had tried to organize attacks, but that taking him to court would risk exposing secret intelligence sources.
Allan, who denies the allegation, has called on Israel to charge him or release him. The case has focused attention on Israel’s use of detention without trial, a practice that has drawn international concern and which has been challenged repeatedly by human rights groups in Israeli courts.
Allan was arrested when he was discharged from the Israeli hospital where he been receiving treatment and returned to a prison facility, an Israeli police spokeswoman said, citing the standing “administrative detention” order, which the court had frozen but not canceled.
The hospital said he had been discharged in good health. Israel’s Prisons Service, taking him into custody, said he was being held in one of its medical wards.
Allan’s cousin, Nader, said the Allan had wanted to transfer to a Palestinian hospital in the occupied West Bank, where he lives, and, having been rearrested by Israel, was resuming his hunger strike.
“He is starting his protest - no food, no medicine, everything,” Nader Allan told Israel’s Army Radio.
Allan’s lawyers have said that his detention order was good for six months, meaning he could go free on Nov. 3. They could not immediately be reached for comment and Israeli authorities did not give details on the terms of his arrest on Wednesday.
Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller, Larry King