Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel / Flash 90
An Arab activist holds a placard during a demonstration for the release of Palestinian Authority journalist and suspected Hamas operative Mohammed al-Qiq from administrative detention outside the Supreme court in Jerusalem.

Israel’s High Court of Justices ruled Wednesday that Hamas operative Muhammad al-Qiq, 33, has the right to end his hunger strike whenever he wants.

But hunger striking does not grant him the right to end his administrative detention.


That was suspended early this month by the court, due to his failing health from the hunger strike.

However, the court also ruled against his release – regardless of whatever ploy he decides try – even if it results in his own death.

“At the end of the day, the petitioner holds the key to his health and well-being in his own hands, he and no other,” the court wrote in the decision.

An offer was made to release al-Qiq by May 1 if he ended his strike – but he allegedly refused unless the court released him immediately, and sent him to a hospital in the Palestinian Authority.

Due to classified evidence indicating al-Qiq is an “active Hamas agent involved in operational terror,” the High Court refused to release him.

Al-Qiq, a journalist for a Saudi television news station, has been taking plain water throughout his 83-day hunger strike.

But if al-Qiq chooses to continue refusing to eat as a protest of his administrative detention, then, ruled the court, “so be it.”

The decision came in the wake of numerous attempts by the court to compromise on the issue, the most recent just a day earlier.

On Tuesday, al-Qiq refused to be transferred to Arabic al-Makassid hospital in eastern Jerusalem. Instead, he sent a request through his lawyer to be sent to a hospital in the Palestinian Authority capital city of Ramallah.

At present, al-Qiq is hospitalized in The Emek Medical Center in Afula, and has vowed to strike until “martyrdom or freedom.”

Al-Qiq has a prior record of prison time, having been jailed in Israel in 2003, 2004 and 2008, according to AFP.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.