Israeli court to rule on fate of hunger-striking Palestinian

Top court in Israel will rule on release of Palestinian journalist who is having serious health problems after being on hunger strike for more than 60 days

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

A Palestinian demonstrator demanding the release of Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq (portrait) from Israeli prison, north of Ramallah in occupied West Bank on January 22, 2016

Jerusalem’s Supreme Court will this week decide whether to release a hunger-striking Palestinian journalist who may be close to death as his health has deteriorated significantly over the past few days, said his lawyer on Tuesday.

Mohammed al Qiq, a 33-year-old father of two and a correspondent for Saudi Arabia's Almajd TV network, was arrested on November 21 at his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

He is being held under Israel's controversial administrative detention law, which allows the state to hold suspects for renewable six-month periods without trial.

Israel's top court will meet on Wednesday to decide on whether to dismiss Qiq’s detention.

However, his lawyer, Jawad Boulus said Qiq will not be able to attend the hearing as his organs are on the verge of failing.

The Palestinian journalist has been refusing food since November 25 in protest against the "torture and ill treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation", according to Addameer, a Palestinian human rights organisation.

Israel's Shin Bet security service claims that Qiq was arrested for his involvement in “terror activity” linked to Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip.

His wife however denied allegations and told Agence France-Presse on Tuesday that her husband had been wrongfully detained.

"He is suffering from many complications, he couldn't talk and couldn't identify his lawyer or even see him."

"Mohammad is a Palestinian journalist who was only covering the situation in the West Bank and he was arrested because of it," she added.

Meanwhile +972 magazine reported that a demonstration was held by I’lam — Arab Center for Media Freedom Development and Research to demand the release of the Palestinian journalist.

“Muhammad al-Qiq has become a symbol for journalists, as well as an example of a person who manages to be free in his thinking even when he is in detention,” Yousef Jabarin, member of Knesset, Israel's unicameral parliament, told +972.

“His only sin was defending his people in his writing,” he added.

In August, Israeli Supreme Court suspended the detention of Palestinian prisoner, Mohammed Allan after his health deteriorated rapidly after a 66 day hunger strike.

TRTWorld and agencies