A Hebron man demonstrates in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners on a hunger strike in protest at being held in administrative detention.
(photo credit: MUSSA QAWASMA / REUTERS)
The IDF arrested Muhammad al-Qiq, who was released from administrative detention in May after carrying out a 94-day hunger strike, on Sunday for allegedly inciting to violence and partaking in Hamas-related activities.
“Muhammad al-Qiq was arrested last night by the IDF and Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] on the basis of suspicions of involvement in incitement to terrorism against Israel and renewed activity with Hamas,” a Shin Bet spokesman told The Jerusalem Post, clarifying that Qiq’s arrest was a part of a major effort to undermine Hamas’s military infrastructure in the Ramallah area.
Israeli security forces arrested a total of 13 Palestinians suspected of involvement in violent activity in the Ramallah area on Sunday night.
The IDF detained Qiq at the Beit El checkpoint early Sunday afternoon, on his way to a protest in Bethlehem against Israel’s practice of withholding dead assailants’ bodies, but released him an hour later, a source close to Qiq said.
Qiq, who was traveling with four others, then proceeded to Bethlehem and participated in the protest.
On the way back to Ramallah, Qiq was arrested at the Beit El checkpoint, where he had been detained earlier in the day.
Fayhaa Shalash, Qiq’s wife, told the Palestinian press that Qiq decided to begin a hunger strike to protest his arrest.
The IDF was unable to confirm if Qiq is refusing nourishment.
On Monday, a group of Palestinians demonstrated against Qiq’s arrest in Ramallah’s Manara Square, calling for his immediate release.
“We have come back to the squares of the main cities to affirm to the occupation that is not right to arrest a [freed] prisoner who underwent a 94-day hunger strike,” Shalash said in a short speech at the protest, according to Al-Quds News Network.
Qiq, 34, is a journalist from the Hebron region and has taken part in many protests in support of Palestinian prisoners since his release in May.