Israeli forces have rearrested a Palestinian Authority Arab journalist who was freed from prison last year after an extended hunger strike, his family and Israeli officials told the AFP news agency on Tuesday.
The journalist, Mohammed al-Qiq, was detained Sunday night at a checkpoint near Ramallah on his way back from a demonstration against Israel's refusal to return the bodies of terrorists, his wife Fayha Shalash told AFP.
According to Shalash, Qiq's lawyer told her he was being held in the Ofer prison, west of Ramallah, and "has been on hunger strike since the moment they arrested him."
In May, Qiq was released from prison after a lengthy hunger strike. Jailed terrorists have repeatedly 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.
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said that Qiq had been detained on Sunday night along with 12 other men, including a member of the Palestinian Authority parliament, as part of a network of Hamas operatives.
It told AFP the men were accused of a series of "economic and social" activities, including organizing demonstrations and financially supporting families of terrorists prisoners for the purpose of strengthening Hamas’s influence in Judea and Samaria “while attempting to topple the (Palestinian) Authority."
A spokesman for the Israel Prison Authority said Qiq was in its custody since Monday but denied he was on hunger strike.