Palestinian Detainee Comes Out of Coma on 65th Day of Hunger Strike

Malik al-Qadi, 19, has been protesting his detention without trial; his family says Israel gave him medical treatment without his consent

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

A Palestinian administrative detainee came out of a coma on the 65th day of his hunger strike Saturday. According to his family, Malik al-Qadi has been receiving forced medical treatment from the Israeli authorities.

Qadi’s family said he was first arrested last December, released in May and rearrested 40 days later. He had been held without trial for four months.

At the beginning of this month, as Qadi’s medical condition worsened, the Supreme Court ruled that he presented no security danger while in hospital. “Therefore we instruct, with the consent of the state, that the administrative arrest warrant against him be suspended so that his family can visit him not as a detainee, in keeping with the rules of the hospital.”

On Saturday, when he regained consciousness at Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Qadi, 19, asked to speak with a journalist about what he had experienced in detention. However, the police prohibited Haaretz from speaking with him, despite the court’s ruling.

“It’s hard for me,” he managed to say, before the policeman on duty prevented the interview from taking place.

Now he is conscious, Qadi is refusing medication. But according to his family, when he was unconscious he received medication and vitamins intravenously.

Family members said that at no point during his detention was he informed of the suspicions against him. His father, Salah al-Qadi, said that Malik “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.”

Salah Qadi said his son is a media student at Al-Quds University, Abu Dis. “All Malik loves is the camera. I take responsibility for every word I say about this. Nobody in my family has gone to prison except for one guy who was out of his mind, younger than me. Malik is a person who can’t even slaughter a chicken. He only wants to study at university, get a camera, take pictures and have fun.”

Nevertheless, Supreme Court justices Isaac Amit, Menachem Mazuz and Zvi Zylbertal ruled that they were “convinced that the administrative arrest warrant is fundamentally legal, and that the petitioner indeed constitutes a real danger to the public.”

Asked why the interview had not been allowed to take place, the police spokesman’s office said, “An interview could have been coordinated and held with the approval of the hospital and the police spokesman’s office because of the patient’s medical condition and the right to privacy, but such coordination was not requested.”

According to the court ruling, however, Qadi is not currently in detention and is therefore not subject to the police spokesman’s office.

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