Supreme Court nixes West Bank transfer for Palestinian hunger-striker
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Supreme Court nixes West Bank transfer for Palestinian hunger-striker

Mohammed al-Qiq wants move to hospital in hometown of Ramallah, after 83 days of fasting; Court says he can go to East J'lem

Mohammed al-Qiq, a Palestinian prisoner who carried out hunger strike, talks to a man in a hospital in the northern Israeli town of Afula on February 5, 2016. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Mohammed al-Qiq, a Palestinian prisoner who carried out hunger strike, talks to a man in a hospital in the northern Israeli town of Afula on February 5, 2016. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a request by Palestinian hunger striker to be moved to his hometown of Ramallah in the West Bank for treatment, but offered to allow his transfer to East Jerusalem.

The court gave Mohammed al-Qiq until Tuesday to decide whether to agree to his transfer from hospital in Afula in northern Israel to the Arab-run Makassed Hospital.

The 33-year-old is reported to be close to death after 83 days of a hunger strike to protest his administrative detention by Israel. Administrative detention allows the state to hold suspects without trial for periods of six months, which can be renewed indefinitely.

The Shin Bet security service says Qiq was detained for terrorist activity on behalf of Palestinian terror group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Qiq’s internment was officially suspended on February 4, but he was still prevented from leaving the Afula hospital where he is handcuffed to his bed.

The hunger-striker’s lawyer has said his client will continue his fast “until he is freed,” and demanded he be moved to Ramallah. The military prosecutor opposed the application, however.

Arab Israelis take part in a protest calling for the release of Mohammed al-Qiq, a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike, outside a hospital in the northern town of Afula on February 9, 2016. (AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)
Arab Israelis take part in a protest calling for the release of Mohammed al-Qiq, a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike, outside a hospital in the northern town of Afula on February 9, 2016. (AFP/AHMAD GHARABLI)

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 “within the framework of the frozen administrative measures concerning him,” raising the possibility he could be detained again if he ends his hunger strike.

Qiq, a father of two and a correspondent for Saudi Arabia’s Almajd TV network, was arrested at his home in Ramallah on November 21.

He 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 rights organization.

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

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