‘Not Hungry’ After 54 Days

Slowly dying, 33 year old Palestinian journalist Mohammd al-Qeeq, is in his 54th day of a hunger strike.

According to Rania Zabaneh’s report in Al-Jazeera, he has been on a hunger strike since November 24 and has vowed to continue until he is released from administrative detention.

The charges against him are not clear. His lawyers indicate “possible incitement” but no charges have been formally made against him.

An appeal was recently made on his behalf to the Israeli military court to end his detention but the court rejected the appeal.

He wants to be transferred to an Arab hospital in Ramallah but Israel offered him a transfer to an Arab hospital in East Jerusalem which he refused. He remains chained to his bed in the hospital in Afula in northern Israel.

In June 2014 the Israeli Knesset passed legislation permitting the use of force-feeding against hunger strikers.

Why this method has not been applied to al-Qeek remains a mystery.

Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners have begun hunger strikes in the past. The Palestinian Authority views this as a means of ending detention of the striking prisoners. But it has had no effect.

Al-Qeek has refused intravenous treatment or injections. It seems to me that our prison and hospital authorities should ignore his objections and should begin at once force-feeding to prevent what seems to be his imminent death.

Keeping him alive should be a vital concern of our government. Upon his death there will be mass demonstrations of protest throughout the West Bank and Palestinian Authority territories.

Such mass protests will lead to violence and can cause the death of many Israelis.

We must not let Al-Qeek commit political suicide. The life of that one Palestinian striker, against whom no charges have been made, should be given priority consideration by our government.

Not for the sense of justice. But for the sense of our own security.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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