Today marks the 90th day of Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq’s hunger strike and he is perilously close to death, according to media reports. The father of two began his hunger strike on 25 November, four days after Israeli occupation forces arrested him from his home in the middle of the night. Al-Qeeq is protesting the illegal and inhumane conditions under which he is detained. He spent several weeks in solitary confinement before he was transferred to a military hospital on Dec. 30, 2015, because of his deteriorating health. Now, he lapses in and out of consciousness and is severely emaciated.
Currently, Israeli prison authorities are holding 6,800 Palestinians as political prisoners. Nearly 10 percent – 660 – are being held without charge or trial, a tactic called administrative detention, which violates the 78th Article of the Fourth Geneva Conventions of 1949. At least 470 Palestinian children also are in Israeli detention, according to Palestinian prisoner rights group Addameer.
We must take action immediately!
Call the White House and State Department and ask them to pressure Israel to release al-Qeeq and allow him to be treated in a Palestinian hospital in Ramallah.
- Please pressure Israel to release Mohammed al-Qeeq from administrative detention immediately and allow him to seek medical treatment in a Palestinian hospital.
- Al-Qeeq is a journalist and as such should enjoy special protections.
- A free press is vital to democracy and detaining journalists is not the sign of a democratic society.
- Israel currently is holding 6,800 Palestinians, mostly as political prisoners, and 660 of them are being held in administrative detention.
- Israel’s use of administrative detention violates the Fourth Geneva Conventions and the US Foreign Assistance Act of 1961.
- The United States has a moral obligation to ensure recipients of our aid uphold human rights and to turn a blind eye to Israel’s imprisonment of nearly 7,000 Palestinians and its use of administrative detention weakens our moral stance throughout the world.
- The US must demand Israel release all Palestinian political prisoners immediately and end its use of administrative detention.
- The United States must demand al-Qeeq’s immediate release and end all support for Israel’s political imprisonment and other crimes against Palestinians.
- US aid to Israel breaks the Leahy Law, which bars assistance to military units known to violate human rights with impunity.
- The billions of dollars sent to Israel by the US could be better spent on pressing needs within the country. (Mention any domestic priorities, like health care, job creation or schools, that are particularly important to you.)
Please Tweet at US Secretary of State John Kerry, the State Department, President Barack Obama and the White House with the hashtag #90DaysTooLong
@ John Kerry
Please post to this page after you’ve placed your call so we can follow up.