Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Clashes erupt as Palestinians rally to support hunger-striker


Clashes broke out across the occupied West Bank on Tuesday night as Palestinians demonstrated in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Muhammad al-Qiq.

Clashes were reported near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El in al-Bireh, northeast of Ramallah, as well as in southern Bethlehem.

Palestinian protesters marched from a sit-in at al-Manara Circle in central Ramallah toward Beit El, where Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets. The youths reportedly threw stones, Molotov cocktails, and empty bottles at the soldiers.

Meanwhile, clashes were also reported at the al-Nashash crossroads in southern Bethlehem following a sit-in held in support of the hunger-striker.

Clashes also broke out in the nearby town of al-Khader in southern Bethlehem.

Earlier Tuesday, Israel's Supreme Court rejected a petition seeking to have al-Qiq transferred to a hospital in the occupied West Bank.

The 33-year-old journalist went on hunger strike in late November to protest his administrative detention -- internment without trial or charge.

Palestinians have increasingly rallied to support the hunger-striker, now 85 days into his protest and in critical condition. more

PA: Israel concealed prisoner's hunger strike for 43 days


The Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners' Affairs on Tuesday accused Israel of concealing a 43-day long hunger strike being undertaken by a Palestinian prisoner.

Hanan al-Khatib, a lawyer with the committee, said the Israeli authorities had attempted to keep prisoner Muhammad al-Mahr out of the public eye by not notifying any of the appropriate Palestinian authorities that he was on hunger strike.

Khatib visited al-Mahr at a hospital in Tiberias in northern Israel on Tuesday, where she said the man's arms and legs were cuffed to his bed.

It was unclear when al-Mahr was transferred from prison to the civilian hospital.

Al-Mahr was arrested on Nov. 2 for alleged possession of a knife with the intention of assaulting Israeli soldiers near a military checkpoint in Jenin.

He denies the charges and went on hunger strike to demand his release from Israeli custody.

Palestinians regularly go on hunger strike to protest their prison sentences and conditions.more