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Clashes erupt over hunger-striking Palestinian

Israeli police arrested more than 10 Palestinians and their supporters in Ashkelon
Palestinians staged a rally outside Barzilai hospital, where Jewish right-wing activists confronted them, chanting racist slogans (AFP)

Palestinian citizens of Israel and their supporters clashed on Sunday with Israeli police near the hospital treating the hunger striking prisoner Mohammed Allan.

Police said they arrested more than 10 people, including Palestinians from east Jerusalem, for throwing stones at officers and disrupting public order in the southern city of Ashkelon where the 31-year-old Allan is being treated.

Mohammed Allan, 33, who is a lawyer, has been held in Israeli custody without charge under a policy known as administrative detention since last November. More than 60 days ago, he began a hunger strike in protest, and slipped into a coma a few days ago.

Palestinians had planned to stage a rally outside Barzilai hospital in Ashkelon, but Jewish right-wing activists confronted them, chanting racist slogans and saying they hoped Allan died.

Both sides threw stones and Jewish protesters broke the windows of a Palestinian television news vehicle.

The clashes continued as officers began removing the Palestinians to the city's entrance to prevent further confrontations with the Jewish protesters.

Police prevented additional busloads of demonstrators from entering Ashkelon, an AFP reporter said.

Allan, accused by Israel to belonging to the Islamic Jihad movement, slipped into a coma on Friday after ingesting only water since 18 June.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the number of Palestinian held under administrative detention in Israeli occupation jails had reached 370 by June 2015.

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