A protest organized by the Arab community was held on Wednesday afternoon outside Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon against the force feeding of an imprisoned Arab security prisoner, Muhmad Alaan. The protest turned violent as participants attacked police.
Alaan was hunger striking for 55 days when he was transported to Soroka Hospital in Beersheva to be force fed as per the new law permitting authorities under certain conditions to give nutrition to a prisoner against his will. When doctors at Soroka refused to force feed the prisoner, he was transferred to Barzilai where the hospital administrator consented to accept the prisoner.
Some 200 attorneys from the Israeli Arab sector took part in the protest, waving PLO flags. According to area residents, they were also shouting “Slaughter the Jews” in Arabic. Hundreds of Jews gathered at the location in a counter protest, shouting “Mohamed is a pig”.
Police worked to keep the protestors apart from one-another while removing the flags and inflammatory signs. Two persons were arrested for throwing rocks. Mounted units moved in to restore order when the protests became unruly. No injuries were report.
On Thursday morning 28 Menachem Av, MK Dr. Ahmed Tibi arrived at the hospital to meet with the prisoner. When asked to give in his cellular telephone to the prison authority guard watching the prisoner, Tibi reported shoved him aside and entered with his cellphone.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)