Israel to Release Palestinian Hunger Striker Four Months After First Detained

Two additional hunger striking administrative detainees ended their hunger strike and are expected to be released in December. The Shin Bet says it hold intelligence indicating the three are dangerous.

Malik al-Qadi at Israeli hospital after coming out of coma following hunger strike. Courtesy

Three administrative detainees who have been on hunger strike for over two months have ended their hunger strike and will be released, Palestinian Prisoners Club said Wednesday.

The three, Malik al-Qadi, who has been on strike for 69 days, and the brothers Mahmoud and Mohammed Balboul, who have been on strike for the past 75 days, have come to an understanding with the Israeli security forces. According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club, al-Qadi will be released on Thursday, the date when his administrative detention comes to an end. The brothers Balboul will be released on December 8, when their detention order expires.

Chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club Issa Karaka said the deal was reached through the personal intervention of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The Shin Bet confirmed that the three started eating again and that al-Qadi will be released on Thursday. An official in the security forces told Haaretz that the interrogation of the Balboul Brothers would resume once their medical condition allows this, and that their administrative detention is expected to end on December 8.

Al-Qadi, 19, from Bethlehem, woke up from an eight-day-long coma last week. He was originally arrested in December, released in April, and arrested again in May. Since then he has been in administrative detention for four months until the Supreme Court suspended his administrative detention due to his deteriorating medical condition, the result of his hunger strike.

Al-Qadi wasn't interrogated since his hospitalization, meaning that the security services haven't obtained any new information from him since. The Shin Bet claims that it has intelligence that indicates that he is dangerous – as the organization had claimed in the cases of the brothers Balboul and other administrative detainees that were released after going on hunger strike.

Attorney Ahlam Haddad, who is representing Al-Qadi, said that "What led to the change was his dire medical condition," adding that "this is a political solution. There is a deal with Abu Mazen [Abbas], this is a deal that Abu Mazen signed and is committed too." Al-Qadi's father Salah told Haaretz earlier this week that his son, a student at Al-Quds University, knows nothing about why he is being held. “He wasn’t told anything in interrogation. Tell him what he did. He goes into interrogation and asks, ‘What did I do?’ Maybe he did something, drank something with somebody, talked to some person … but nothing. No connection to anything, not to Hamas.”