Palestinian journalist on hunger strike on verge of death

Protest calling for release of Palestinian journalist Mohammed Al-Qeeq.

After 77 days on hunger strike in protest against his arbitrary detention by Israeli forces, Palestinian journalist Mohammed Al-Qeeq is on the verge of death.

Al-Qeeq is currently in detention in a hospital in the northern city of Afula; his petition to be transferred to a clinic in Ramallah has been rejected by the Israeli government.

His lawyer says he refuses to stay in Israeli hospitals and will only accept medical treatment in the West Bank. He was arrested on November 21 last year on charges of being an activist with the Gaza-based Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

The journalist, who works for the TV station Al Majd, has been in “administrative detention,” which allows the Israeli government to detain someone without referring to a judge on the grounds they are a "threat" to the country.

Israeli officials have denied Al-Qeeq's request, despite the Israeli high court ruling in favor of a “freeze” on his administrative detention.

Al-Qeeq has not been able to see his wife and two children, aged one and four. His attorneys say he has lost most of his sight and hearing abilities and can barely speak, and he could suffer a heart attack or organ system failure at any time.

According to Palestinian authorities, the current number of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli detention centers is around 6,000, with 424 Palestinians under administrative detention.

[Reposted from TeleSUR English. ]

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