Mohammed al-Qiq announces end to 94-day hunger strike
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Mohammed al-Qiq announces end to 94-day hunger strike

Palestinian journalist’s representatives say he has made deal with authorities that will see him released from administrative detention in May

Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed al-Qiq with Joint (Arab) List MK Osama Sa'adi at the Emek Medical Center in Afula, on February 26, 2016. (Courtesy Joint List)
Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed al-Qiq with Joint (Arab) List MK Osama Sa'adi at the Emek Medical Center in Afula, on February 26, 2016. (Courtesy Joint List)

Palestinian hunger striker Mohammed al-Qiq has reached a deal with Israeli authorities to end his 94-day fast, his representatives and family announced at a press conference Friday.

According to al-Qiq’s associates, officials have agreed to end al-Qiq’s administrative detention on May 21. He will remain at Afula’s Emek Medical Center and will not be moved to a Palestinian facility.

Mohammad Barakeh, a former lawmaker who chairs the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel, and who has supported al-Qiq’s strike, called the deal a victory for the journalist.

Qiq launched his hunger strike on November 25, 2015, to win release from detention. Earlier this week, advocacy group Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said he had broken medical records, and that no hunger striker had survived such a long period of time without food.

Fayha Shalash, the wife of Mohammed al-Qiq, speaks to the press upon her husband's anouncement to end his 94-day hunger strike, on February 26, 2016. (AFP / HAZEM BADER)
Fayha Shalash, the wife of Mohammed al-Qiq, speaks to the press upon her husband’s anouncement to end his 94-day hunger strike, on February 26, 2016. (AFP / HAZEM BADER)

The Shin Bet security service says al-Qiq was detained under the controversial administrative detention directive — arrest without charge or trial — for activity on behalf of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. He denies this.

His fate has been discussed in recent top-level meetings, including on Sunday by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Last Tuesday, the High Court of Justice rejected al-Qiq’s petition to be transferred to a hospital in Ramallah, and ruled he must stay in the northern Israel hospital where he is currently being held.

Al-Qiq, whose condition has been rapidly deteriorating, earlier last Tuesday rejected an Israeli compromise to transfer him to East Jerusalem’s al-Maqased Hospital, saying he would only end his fast if he is sent to a medical facility in the West Bank, under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction.

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