Israel refuses to free Palestinian hunger-striking journalist
The Israeli Supreme Court has refused to release Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq, who has been on hunger strike for over two months, despite growing concerns over his deteriorating health.
The court ruled on Wednesday that the 33-year-old would remain in jail.
Qiq, a father of two was arrested on November 21 last year at his home in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, with Israel’s Shin Bet internal spy service accusing him of “terror activity.”
The Palestinian journalist has denied the charges and has been refusing food since November 25 in protest against his administrative detention as well as “torture and ill treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation,” according to Addameer, a Palestinian human rights organization.
Administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.
Qiq’s legal team has warned that his organs are at risk of failure any day while his lawyer Jawad Boulus said three judges of the Supreme Court had been “briefed on classified material and are convinced that Muhammed al-Qiq constitutes a danger to the security of Israel,” and therefore have declined to overturn the military court’s ruling to keep him in detention.
The European Union on Wednesday said it is “especially concerned” about his health.
Back in 2003, Qiq was incarcerated for a month and then for over a year in 2004 for activities linked to the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas.
Hamas has warned the Tel Aviv regime that there would be a harsh response if Qiq dies. Hamas Prisoners’ Authority has described his life a redline that if crossed, Israel would face measures it could never imagine.
In 2008, Qiq was given a 16-month jail term for his activities in the student council at the West Bank’s Birzeit University.