Hunger-striking Palestinian administrative detainee Jamal Abu Leil was transferred from his isolation cell in Ashkelon prison to an isolation cell in Ramon prison on Monday, 6 March. Abu Leil, 50, has been on hunger strike for 20 days against the renewal of his administrative detention, imprisonment without charge or trial. He joins imprisoned journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, 34, on hunger strike against his own imprisonment without charge or trial for 30 days.
Al-Qeeq is held in the Ramle prison clinic and has so far been denied transfer to a civilian hospital; his health status is precarious as he won his freedom in May 2016, when he was also held in administrative detention, with a 94-day hunger strike.
Al-Qeeq has been on hunger strike since 6 February 2017. He launched his strike after he was ordered to administrative detention following 22 days of interrogation; he was seized by Israeli occupation forces on 15 January at a checkpoint as he returned home from a demonstration in Bethlehem demanding the return of the detained bodies of Palestinians killed by Israel. A journalist, his 94-day hunger strike in 2016 saw widespread Palestinian and international support and publicized the issue of both administrative detention and the imprisonment of Palestinian journalists. He is the former student body president at Bir Zeit University and is married to fellow journalist Fayha Shalash, with two children, Islam and Lour.
Abu Leil has been on strike since 16 February 2017. He has been imprisoned without charge or trial since 15 February 2016 and launched his strike in protest of the renewal of his detention for the third six-month order. He is a prominent leader of Fateh in the Qalandiya refugee campa and a former member of Fateh’s Revolutionary Council. He is a member of the camp’s Popular Committee, an administrator of the Qalandiya youth center and the director of the children’s club in the camp. He is married and the father of three sons.
Abu Leil and al-Qeeq are among approximately 520 Palestinians imprisoned without charge or trial under administrative detention. Administrative detention orders are issued for one to six months at a time and are indefinitely renewable, meaning that Palestinians can be imprisoned for years without charge or trial under administrative detention.