TEL AVIV – A Hamas member held in Israeli prison has broken medical records by surviving a 90-day hunger strike — longer than fasts by other Palestinians or Irish prisoners in 1981, the Times of Israel reported.
In an attempt to persuade hunger-striking Mohammed al-Qiq to end his fast, Israel Prisons Services on Monday brought in two high-ranking Hamas prisoners to Qiq’s bedside to talk the journalist into eating.
Jamal Abu al-Hija and Muhammad Shariach, terrorists responsible for multiple bombings during the Second Intifada, were escorted under heavy guard to the Emek Medical Center in the northern city of Afula, where Qiq is being detained.
According to the report, the United Nations, along with the International Committee of the Red Cross, has expressed concern about Qiq’s fate, describing his condition as critical.
The Shin Bet security agency says 33-year-old Qiq was detained without charge or trial on November 21, 2015 over activity on behalf of the Gaza terror group Hamas. Qiq denies the charges.
Qiq’s case has attracted criticism of Israel’s policy of holding people suspected of terrorism without trial. The practice, which in most cases applies to Palestinian terrorists, has recently been enforced on Jewish Israelis engaged in acts of terror.
Four days after being arrested, Qiq began his hunger strike in a bid to win release.
Amani Dayif of Physicians for Human Rights-Israel said Monday that the detainee’s condition is rapidly deteriorating, and no one else “has survived this much” time.
On Tuesday, Qiq rejected an offer from Israel to transfer him to East Jerusalem’s al-Maqased Hospital, saying he would only end his hunger strike if he is transferred to a medical facility in the West Bank under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction.
Qiq’s condition has been discussed in recent top-level meetings, including on Sunday by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Last week, hundreds of protesters gathered outside Qiq’s hospital to demand his immediate release from Israeli custody.