Hunger striking Hamas suspect freed from detention

Mohammed al-Qiq was held in administrative detention; court rules he cannot leave hospital, however.

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Gil Ronen,

Hamas terrorists with Kalashnikov guns (illustration)
Hamas terrorists with Kalashnikov guns (illustration)
Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90

The Supreme Court on Thursday suspended the detention without trial of an Arab prisoner suspected of Hamas activity who has been on hunger strike for more than two months, but he may not leave hospital without permission.

Mohammed al-Qiq, 33, has been on hunger strike to protest being held under administrative detention, which allows the state to hold suspects for renewable six-month periods without trial.

The court said the order was being suspended due to his poor health.

Al-Qiq's lawyer said "he faces the possibility of death at any moment."

The United Nations' humanitarian coordinator expressed 'deep concern' on Tuesday over Israel's administrative detention law, and over reports that Al-Qiq's health is rapidly deteriorating.

Robert Piper, UN Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance and Development Aid, said in a statement: “I am deeply concerned about the continued practice of administrative detention in Israeli jails and detention centers."

"In particular, I am alarmed by the rapidly deteriorating health of Palestinian administrative detainee, Mohammed Al-Qiq, who is on hunger strike in protest against the arbitrary nature of his detention and ill-treatment," Piper said.

Qiq, a 33-year-old father of two and a correspondent for Saudi Arabia's Almajd TV network, was arrested on November 21, 2015 in Ramallah. Qiq denies that he is involved in activity for Hamas, although he has previously been arrested for Hamas activity. He has been refusing food since November 25 in protest of what he claims are the "torture and ill-treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation".

The Supreme Court recently ruled that Qiq would remain in Israeli jail but his condition would be monitored on a daily basis.

It should be noted that jailed terrorists have often used hunger strikes as a pressure tactic aimed at forcing Israel to release them out of fear for their lives. Israel has several times in the past caved to the pressure and released some hunger strikers.








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