Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq, on his 83rd day of hunger strike Monday, refused an Israeli court decision for his transfer to an East Jerusalem hospital, maintaining he would not end his strike until released and brought to a Palestinian hospital in the occupied West Bank.
Ahmad Abu Muhammad of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society in Bethlehem told Ma’an that lawyer Jawad Boulos brought al-Qiq’s request to Israel’s High Court of Justice, which rejected the appeal for his release and transfer.
In what appeared to be an attempt to bring about a compromise with the hunger-striker, the court ruled that al-Qiq could choose to be released to al-Makassid, a Palestinian hospital in occupied East Jerusalem, Abu Muhammad said.
While al-Qiq was given until Tuesday to decide on the ruling, Abu Muhammad told Ma’an the journalist’s position had not changed, and he would continue his strike until released to the West Bank from his administrative detention without trial.
“There is no difference between Afula and al-Makassid hospital for al-Qiq,” Abu Muhammad said, referring to the HaEmek hospital in the Israeli town of Afula where the detainee is currently held, near death and still under Israeli custody.
“If he decides to go to Jerusalem, they will take him, put two or three soldiers by his bed,” Abu Muhammad added. “It will be exactly the same.”
Al-Qiq’s lawyers are expected to attend a court session at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, where the High Court judge will review the case, Abu Muhammad added.
– Read more: Palestinian Hunger-striker Refuses ‘Compromise’ Offered by Israeli Court – Emily Mulder, MAAN