How Anti-Israel Activists Turned a Palestinian Hunger Striker into a Cause Célèbre

Mohammed Allaan, a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, has been jailed by Israel since 2014, when he was arrested for the second time for involvement in terrorist activities. Although his recent hunger strike has made headlines in Israel and abroad, Gerald Steinberg explains that it was part of a well-coordinated effort to get him released:

The threats of large-scale violence in Israel and international condemnation if Allaan were to die [in custody] were used to pressure Israel to release him unconditionally. [The effectiveness of such a] strategy was demonstrated in the early 1980s, when ten IRA hunger-striking terrorists in British jails died, with major ramifications. To avoid a similar situation, Israel had previously freed a number of alleged terrorists in administrative detention. . . .

In this deadly political chess game, a number of Israeli and Palestinian non-governmental organizations (NGOs), claiming to promote moral agendas, have played a central role. The petition before the High Court of Justice, asking the judges to release Allaan, was brought by Adalah, an influential Israeli political advocacy NGO. Adalah was joined by Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, the Arab Association for Human Rights, Al-Mezan (Gaza-based), and other groups. These NGOs are among the leaders of campaigns demonizing Israel, and the Allaan hunger strike is another means to achieve this end. . . .

A survey of NGO websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds shows the intense focus of these resources on the Allaan case, which they have presented as primarily involving the medical ethics of force-feeding and the legality of administrative detention . . . with no mention of Islamic Jihad terrorism. . . .

The successes that Allan and his NGO support group can now claim following the media campaign, the threats of violence, and his subsequent release guarantee the frequent [future] use of the hunger-strike strategy.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Islamic Jihad, Israel & Zionism, Lawfare, NGO, Palestinians, Terrorism

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security