The Supreme Court on Thursday suspended the detention without trial of a Palestinian journalist who has been on hunger strike for more than two months, but he cannot leave hospital without permission.
Mohammed al-Qiq, 33, was said to be on hunger strike for 72 days to protest being held under Israel’s controversial administrative detention law, which allows the state to hold suspects for renewable six-month periods without charges.
The court said the order was being suspended due to his poor health. His family will be allowed to visit him in the hospital.
Qiq’s lawyer said the journalist had earlier pledged to refuse any order that “doesn’t guarantee his freedom.”
“I’m going to visit him now to know his decision,” said Jawad Boulus.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said last week that Qiq’s life was in danger.
Qiq, a father of two and a correspondent for Saudi Arabia’s Almajd TV network, was arrested on November 21 at his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
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.
Israel’s Supreme Court previously refused to order his release, although it said it would follow his health on a daily basis.
Shin Bet, the Israeli domestic security service, says Qiq was arrested for “terror activity” as part of the Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
Qiq was jailed for a month in 2003 and then for 13 months in 2004 for Hamas-related activities.
In 2008, he was sentenced to 16 months on charges linked to his activities on the student council at the West Bank’s Birzeit University.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.