Palestinian journalist held by Israel ends hunger strike

Jerusalem, Feb 26 (IANS) A detained Palestinian journalist announced he is ending a three-month hunger strike after reaching a deal with Israeli authorities, his lawyer said on Friday.

Mohammad al-Qeeq, a Palestinian journalist from Ramallah, had been on a hunger strike for the past 93 days, since he was placed under administrative detention in November 2015, Xinhua news agency reported.

Security forces said he was suspected of involvement in Hamas-affiliated terrorist activities.

Jawad Boulos, al-Qeeq’s lawyer, confirmed the deal according to which the journalist will be released on May 21, a month earlier than scheduled.

Until that time he will continue to be hospitalised at the Emek medical centre in Afula, northern Israel. His family members will be allowed to visit him in hospital.

Last month, Israel’s Supreme Court suspended al-Qeeq’s detention as his health condition deteriorated. He rejected the court’s ruling and refused to be treated or fed.

Palestinian prisoners use hunger strikes to draw international attention to their detention and the lack of due judicial process. As of early August 2015, Israel was holding 340 Palestinians in administrative detention, according to official figures.

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