Video: Hunger striker on brink of death remains defiant

The death of Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq is imminent after nearly 80 days of hunger strike.

His condition is worsening with every passing moment, a lawyer with the Palestinian Authority’s committee on prisoners’ affairs said on Friday.

Al-Qiq went on hunger strike days after his arrest by Israeli forces in his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah on 21 November. He has been held without charge or trial under an administrative detention order issued by a military court.

Israel’s high court suspended the detention order earlier this month after al-Qiq’s health deteriorated. But the journalist vowed to continue his hunger strike until he is released.

He is demanding to be transferred to a hospital in Ramallah and refuses to be treated at the Israeli medical center where he is currently being held.

“He is on the brink of death, and we might hear news of his martyrdom at any moment, especially due to fears that he might suffer from a stroke,” the lawyer Hiba Masalha said.

This video shows the gravely ill al-Qiq in his hospital bed, conveying his demands through another lawyer. It also shows some of his supporters, rallying in solidarity near the hospital.

Update: Saturday, 13 February

Muhammad al-Qiq shows signs of having suffered a heart attack, the lawyer Hiba Masalha told media on Saturday evening, the 81st day of the journalist’s hunger strike.

Masalha said that doctors at the HaEmek hospital in Afula, a city in the north of present-day Israel, were in a state of alert and speaking openly about the gravity of al-Qiq’s health situation.

Issa Qaraqe, the chair of the Palestinian Authority’s committee on prisoners’ affairs, told the Alresalah news outlet on Saturday evening that the signs of the possible heart attack included changes in the color of different parts of al-Qiq’s body and severe pain in his chest.

Qaraqe said doctors had identified these symptoms as evidence of a heart attack.

Activists at the hospital say that al-Qiq cannot speak, move or even drink water and suffers severe pain and tremors all over his body.

Video and editing by Keren Manor and Oren Ziv of ActiveStills. Text by The Electronic Intifada.