Lawyer: Palestinian hunger striker's health deteriorating

AP News
Posted: Jan 26, 2016 8:35 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — The health of a Palestinian journalist detained by Israel who has been on a 63-day hunger strike is deteriorating, lawyers and supporters said Tuesday, while the Israeli hospital where he is being held said his condition has not changed significantly in recent days.

Attorney Jawad Boulos said 33-year-old Mohammed al-Qeq is struggling to speak and open his eyes while shackled to his hospital bed.

"He could die at any time," Boulos said.

A spokeswoman for the Emek Medical Center in Afula, where al-Qeq is being held, said his condition has not deteriorated significantly in recent days.

Al-Qeq is refusing food to protest his six-month imprisonment without trial or charges, an Israeli practice known as administrative detention.

Israel's Shin Bet security service says al-Qeq is involved in terrorism activities linked to the militant Hamas movement. Israel defends administrative detention as a necessary security measure.

Faihaa al-Qeq said she began preparing her two children for the possibility of her husband's death.

She said al-Qeq passed her a message through his lawyers that read, "If the worst happens that I die, please forgive me. I had no other choice."

Al-Qeq reports for the Saudi channel Al-Majd. He was arrested Nov. 21.