Palestinian Sources: Israel Allowed Hamas Prisoners to Visit Hunger Striker in Hospital

Jamal al-Hur and Mahmoud Shritah, serving total of 12 life terms for terror attacks, reportedly held meeting with Mohammad al-Qiq.

A Palestinian man carrying a placard bearing a portrait of Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq at a demonstration north of Ramallah.

Israel allowed two Hamas security prisoners to visit hunger-striking detainee Mohammad al-Qiq in hospital Tuesday, associates of the Palestinian told Haaretz.

Eyewitnesses said the two prisoners, Jamal al-Hur and Mahmoud Shritah, visited al-Qiq at Haemek Hospital, Afula, accompanied by a heavy security contingent.

Mohammed al-Qiq in the hospital.

A source in the Palestinian Prisoners Society said the meeting was related to negotiations the prisoner leadership has been holding with the Israel Prison Service regarding al-Qiq and other issues relating to the detention conditions of Hamas prisoners in Israeli prisons.

The source also said the prisoners may have tried to persuade al-Qiq to call off his hunger strike, which is entering its 92nd day.

There was no report after the meeting that al-Qiq had changed his stance. The prisoners society, however, postponed a scheduled press conference, apparently to allow talks to continue with the military prosecution over the request to move al-Qiq to Makassed Hospital, East Jerusalem.

Qiq, a 33-year-old Palestinian journalist, is considered pro-Hamas and critical of the Palestinian Authority. Since he began his hunger strike to protest his detention without trial, he hasn’t consumed anything but tap water. He is conscious and lucid, but at risk of a systemic breakdown, doctors said.

Hur is serving five life terms for the kidnapping and murder of soldier Sharon Edri, and the terror attack on the Apropo café in Tel Aviv in 1997. Shritah was convicted of involvement in two attacks in Tel Aviv during the second intifada and was sentenced to seven life terms.

The Shin Bet security service refused to comment for this report.