Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail Haniyeh Reuters

Hamas's leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh on Friday welcomed the upcoming release of terror suspect Mohammed al-Qiq, hours after Israel agreed to release him following a 94-day hunger strike.

Speaking in Rafah, Haniyeh also vowed that the “intifada” will continue.

"Al-Qiq's victory is proof that defeating the occupation is realistic,” said Haniyeh, who was quoted by Channel 2 News.

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.

He has a history of being jailed for aiding Hamas; previously he was jailed for a month in 2003 and then for 13 months in 2004 for activities with the Hamas terrorist organization.

But Israel caved into his hunger strike on Friday and agreed to release him on May 21.

The Supreme Court had previously suspended Qiq's administrative detention, but also ruled that he would have to remain in the northern Israeli hospital where he is being held.

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 hunger strikers.

Also in his speech on Friday, Haniyeh declared, “The intifada will continue and is the largest strategic turning point in the history of the Palestinian issue.”

"Nothing will stop the intifada," he stressed. "Not the occupying enemy nor the security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority."

During the ceremony, reported Channel 2 News, the organizers simulated the explosion of an Israeli bus.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)

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