Terrorist prisoners (illustration)
Terrorist prisoners (illustration) Flash 90

Israel's Supreme Court on Monday rejected a Palestinian hunger striker's request to be moved to the Palestinian Authority (PA)-assigned areas Judea and Samaria for treatment, but said he could be transferred to eastern Jerusalem, AFP reported.

The court gave the hunger striker, journalist, Mohammed al-Qiq, until 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday to decide whether to agree to his transfer from hospital in northern Israel to Jerusalem's Palestinian-run Makassed Hospital.

The 33-year-old is reported to be close to death after 83 days on hunger strike in protest against his internment under Israel's administrative detention laws.

The Supreme Court on February 4 lifted the order to hold Qiq under the controversial administrative detention law, but ruled that he would need permission to leave the hospital where he is handcuffed to his bed. He in response said he would continue his hunger strike until he is completely freed.

Qiq's lawyer has said his client will continue his fast "until he is freed", and demanded he be moved to his home city of Ramallah but the Israeli military prosecutor opposed the application.

A Supreme Court statement said it recommended the "transfer of the hunger striker to Makassed Hospital in east Jerusalem to continue his treatment".

It added the move was "in the framework of the frozen administrative measures concerning him", raising the possibility he could be detained again if he ends his hunger strike.

Qiq was arrested on November 21, 2015 in Ramallah due to suspicions of involvement with Hamas. 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 against the "torture and ill treatment that he was subjected to during interrogation".

The United Nations has expressed concern about his fate, with the International Committee of the Red Cross describing his condition as critical.

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.

Prior to Qiq, the most recent famous case of a terrorist who went on a hunger strike and was ultimately freed was that of Mohammed Allan, who was freed by Israel at the beginning of November 2015.

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