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Health of Palestinian journalist on hunger strike in Israeli jail ‘deteriorating’

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Palestinians demonstrate in solidarity with journalist Muhammad Al-Qeq, who has been on hunger strike for over 40 days in an Israeli jail and whose photos they are holding up.

A Palestinian official says the health condition of a Palestinian journalist on hunger strike in an Israeli prison is worsening.

The Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs, Issa Qaraqe, said on Monday that Mohammed al-Qeq, 33, is in “critical condition” on the 48th day of his hunger strike. The journalist was arrested in November 2015, when Israeli forces blew up the front door of his house and took him in for interrogation.

Following his arrest, and for several days, he was not allowed to contact either his wife or his attorney.

He has been protesting his detention without trial or charge with the hunger strike.

Sources close to al-Qeq said he was interrogated for “journalistic incitement,” and when he refused to cooperate, he was put in administrative detention for a period of six months.

According to the sources, Israeli forces tortured al-Qeq during his interrogation, when he was subjected to beatings, sleep deprivation, exposure to cold, and other forms of abuse.

Administrative detention is a sort of imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to incarcerate Palestinians for up to six months. The detention order can be renewed for indefinite periods of time.

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