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Palestinian National Initiative holds Gaza sit-in in solidarity with al-Qiq

Feb. 13, 2016 6:38 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 13, 2016 6:38 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian National Initiative renewed its call to release hunger-striking prisoner Muhammad al-Qiq, whose health has severely deteriorated as he reached day 80 without food, by releasing him without any conditions.

Abdullah Abu al-Atta, a leader of the center-left Palestinian political party, said during a sit-in in solidarity with al-Qiq in Gaza City that the imprisoned journalist’s cause should concern everyone who cares about freedom.

Abu al-Atta demanded all concerned parties to intervene to pressure the Israeli government to end al-Qiq’s suffering and to put a real end to Israel’s policy of administrative detention-- internment without trial or charge.

He stressed on the importance of unity and reconciliation for the sake of al-Qiq and all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Al-Qiq, a 33-year-old Palestinian journalist and father of two, began his hunger strike in November to protest his administrative detention.

The Palestinian Prisoner's Society on Wednesday said Israel was "not showing attention or willingness" to solve al-Qiq’s case and held the Israeli authorities "completely responsible" for his life.

The prisoners' society said they had filed the appeal as al-Qiq's health continued to deteriorate. Doctors have warned repeatedly that al-Qiq is near death, and could face irreversible damage even if he receives treatment soon.

Due to his poor health, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled on Feb. 4 to temporarily suspend his detention, which would resume once his health improved.

Al-Qiq rejected the ruling, saying he would not end his hunger strike unless Israel agreed to his full release.
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