The fathers of Palestinian youth martyrs of the current popular intifada, Bayan al-Esseili, Danya and Uday Irshaid, and Malik Al-Shareef announced a hunger strike in solidarity with Mohammed al-Qeeq, Palestinian journalist now on his 72nd day of hunger strike in protest of his administrative detention without charge or trial by the Israeli occupation.
Photos: Reham Alhelsi of A Voice from Palestine
Al-Qeeq, 33, launched his hunger strike on 25 November in protest of the torture he was experiencing under interrogation, continuing his strike after he was ordered to administrative detention without charge or trial. He is currently held, shackled to his hospital bed, in HaEmek hospital in Afula, where he has lost his vision and ability to hear and is reported to be “on the verge of death.” He has continued to refuse any treatment or nourishment, and is scheduled to receive a visit from Physicians for Human Rights Israel Dr. Mahmud Mahamid today prior to a Supreme Court hearing on his case. A prior scheduled visit by Mahamid was cancelled at the last minute by hospital and security officials.
The HaEmek hospital ethics committee convened yesterday, 3 February, to discuss al-Qeeq’s case. “The hospital said that at this point it was merely monitoring his medical condition without intervening. It added that there were no plans to force-feed him,” reported Ha’aretz, but Issa Qaraqe of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Affairs Committee said that Al-Qeeq is in danger of being subject to forced treatment, as he has been subjected to on two past occasions.
In addition, Amjad Najjar, of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society in Al-Khalil, said that Fateh prisoners held in administrative detention in the Negev prison have said that they are planning to launch a strike in solidarity with al-Qeeq. Prisoners of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine have held successive solidarity strikes with Al-Qeeq, including one taking place today, 4 February. Hamas prisoners held a solidarity hunger strike on Tuesday, returning all of their meals and demanding Al-Qeeq’s release. In Eshel, those who participated were banned from family visits for one month.
Fellow Palestinian administrative detainee Kayed Abu Rish is also being held in HaEmek hospital; he is 21 days into a hunger strike in protest of the renewal of his detention without charge or trial. Jordanian prisoner Akram Zahra, whose sentence was scheduled to expire on 15 January but was arbitrarily detained inside Israeli jails since that date and launched a hunger strike, is scheduled to be released and cross the border to Jordan today.
1. Contact government officials and demand that they break their silence on Al-Qeeq and support for Israeli violations of Palestinian rights. In the United States, call the Israel Foreign Service Desk
1-202-647-3672 and the White House – 202-456-1111. Demand action on al-Qeeq’s case and an end to aid to Israel. In the UK, call UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Philip Hammond, MP, +44 20 7008 1500. In Canada, call Foreign Minister Stephane Dion: 613-996-5789.
2. Protest at an Israeli consulate or embassy (or federal building, G4S office or public square) and demand freedom for Mohammed al-Qeeq. Join the protests scheduled in New York, Berlin and Montreal or organize your own. Raise the issue of this case publicly and distribute information – this flyer is available for you to distribute at protests in your community. Find your closest Israeli consulate: http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/israel. Please email us at email@example.com to inform us of your action – we will publicize and share news with the prisoners.
3. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Palestinians have urged an international boycott of Israeli goods and institutions – and corporations that profit from occupation , like G4S, the world’s largest private security company, that sells security equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints and police training centers – directly profiting from the occupation that destroys Palestinian lives. At the same time G4S profits from occupation, institutions like the United Nations continue to do business with it. Go to addameer.org/UNdropG4S to take action!