Despite rumors and Israeli media reports since yesterday, no agreement or deal has yet been reached in the case of Mohammed al-Qeeq, Palestinian journalist on hunger strike for the 89th day. He remains held in HaEmek hospital in Afula, and the Israeli military continues to prohibit him from receiving family visits from his wife and children, claiming “security” reasons. The prohibition on family visits is scheduled to be reviewed on Sunday by Israeli courts.
Reports from Israel’s Channel 10 and elsewhere indicated that “a deal” would be reached some time Saturday or Sunday, but Fayha Shalash, Al-Qeeq’s wife, warned in a press conference on Saturday evening, 20 February, that no deal has yet been reached and that Al-Qeeq’s situation is medically desperate and worsening, needing attention now more than ever. She demanded the Palestinian Authority take stronger action to free her husband and secure his liberation from administrative detention without charge or trial. She warned that rumors and unconfirmed reports of agreements to release al-Qeeq may distract from his urgent situation.
Also on Saturday evening, police with sniffer dogs stormed HaEmek hospital where a large group of Palestinians have gathered in solidarity with al-Qeeq, several on hunger strike, raising greater fears for al-Qeeq’s life. Earlier in the day, Mohammed Kana’aneh reported from inside the hospital that al-Qeeq was experiencing severe chest pains but rejecting treatment even after doctors rushed to his room on multople occasions.
Al-Qeeq has been on hunger strike since 25 November 2015; he was held under administrative detention without charge or trial. His administrative detention was allegedly “suspended,” but he has been forbidden transfer to a Palestinian hospital and even family visits from his wife and children. Palestinian sources have reported that there are ongoing negotiations regarding his situation. Samidoun will provide updates upon confirmation, and urges all to continue and intensify efforts to free al-Qeeq and all Palestinian prisoners.