RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Former hunger-striking prisoner and journalist Muhammad al-Qiq was detained by Israeli authorities on Sunday, after he participated in a protest in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem held to demand the release of bodies of slain Palestinians held in Israeli custody.
Palestinian news outlet al-Quds Network quotes al-Qiq's wife Fayhaa Shalash as saying that he immediately declared a hunger strike in protest of his detention.
Reports from social media and Palestinian news outlets announced on Monday that a march would be held in al-Manara square in Ramallah at 4 p.m. to call for his release, organized by family members of Palestinian prisoners and of slain Palestinians who had also participated in the Bethlehem rally.
Al-Quds reported that al-Qiq was detained at the Israeli military checkpoint of Beit El in the Ramallah district -- along with relatives of slain Palestinians Muhannad Shafiq Halabi, Thaer Abu Ghazaleh, and Hussein Muhammad Abu Ghush -- after the group was returning from Sunday’s protest.
Their vehicle was searched and the others were interrogated before Israeli authorities ultimately released them an hour later, while al-Qiq was taken to a detention center inside the illegal Israeli Beit El settlement.
An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports on the detention of al-Qiq.
The 34-year-old journalist, who lives in Ramallah and is originally from Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, was released from Israeli prison on May 19, 2016
, after a grueling 94-day hunger strike that brought him near death.
Al-Qiq’s imprisonment -- widely condemned by the United Nations
, Amnesty International,
and other rights groups -- and his subsequent hunger strike, directed a spotlight on Israel’s use of administrative detention, its arbitrary imprisonment of Palestinians, and the concerted targeting of Palestinian journalists.