Farhan: Guarantors of Truce Must Force Assad & Allies to Stop Violations

Member of the Coalition’s political committee Yasser Farhan said that the Astana meeting on Syria must lead to the consolidation of the ceasefire agreement, calling on the regime’s allies to force it to withdraw from the areas they have recently seized in the Wadi Barada valley.

The international community and Russia, Assad’s main ally and a guarantor of the ceasefire agreement, have a special responsibility to force the Assad regime to stop its continued breaches of the truce, Farhan stressed.

“We demand that the Assad regime is prevented from seizing new areas and forcing it to withdraw its forces from all the areas they have seized since the truce took effect on December 29, 2016,” Farhan added.

Experts from Russia, Turkey, Iran and the United Nations held a technical meeting in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, to discuss in detail the implementation of the ceasefire agreement, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.

“Representatives of Jordan are expected to take part for the first time,” a ministry spokesman said of the talks.

Farhan, who participated as an adviser to the delegation of the FSA groups in the Astana meeting, noted that the Assad regime must compensate the victims of the continuing violations as was stipulated in the Annex III of the letter sent earlier by the Turkish Republic and the Russian Federation to the UN Security Council.

The FSA and rebel groups have proved they were serious about reaching a political solution to the conflict as they have so far abided by the ceasefire agreement they signed off on, Farhan stressed. He pointed out that the participation of FSA and rebel groups in the Astana meeting aims to discuss ways to shore up the truce.

The FSA’s and rebel groups’ delegation to the Astana meeting presented a detailed document suggesting mechanisms for monitoring and accountability for truce violations. Farhan said that the delegation demanded the release of all detainees in Assad’s prisons, most importantly over 13,000 female detainees.

(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office / 06.02.2017)

Muhammad al-Qiq begins new hunger strike to protest latest administrative detention


BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Prominent Palestinian former hunger striker Muhammad al-Qiq began a new hunger strike on Monday to denounce his latest detention by Israel.

Palestinian outlet Quds News Agency quoted relatives of al-Qiq as saying that the 34-year-old journalist had started an open-ended hunger strike on Monday to protest being sentenced to six months in administrative detention — Israel’s controversial practice of detention without trial or charges.
Al-Qiq, who lives in Ramallah and is originally from Dura in the southern occupied West Bank district of Hebron, was released from prison in May last year after have gone without food for a grueling 94 days — also to protest his administrative detention at the time.
However, al-Qiq was redetained in mid-January after he participated in a protest in the West Bank city of Bethlehem demanding the release of bodies of slain Palestinians held in Israeli custody.
According to Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun, Israeli authorities had not garnered confessions or issued charges against al-Qiq as of late January, although they had earlier expressed that they were investigating him for alleged “incitement” on social media, amid a crackdown on freedom of expression among Palestinian activists and journalists.
Al-Qiq’s previous imprisonment by Israel — widely condemned by the United NationsAmnesty International, and other rights groups — and subsequent hunger strike cast a spotlight on Israel’s use of administrative detention, its arbitrary imprisonment of Palestinians, and the concerted targeting of Palestinian journalists.
Al-Qiq was one of a number of prominent Palestinian hunger strikers in 2016, who included the Balboul brothers who went without food for 77 and 79 days, Malik al-Qadi for 68 days, Bilal Kayid for 71 days.
(Source / 06.02.2017)

Gaza’s cancer patients: ‘We are dying slowly’

The Gaza Strip does not have adequate resources for medical treatment, but Israel prevents patients from leaving.

Around 1,500 people are diagnosed with cancer in Gaza every year

Gaza City – “I’m like a bird in a cage,” Hind Shaheen told Al Jazeera as she lay in bed at Gaza City’s Al-Rantisi hospital, surrounded by family members. “Outside of my cage I can see water and food, but I can’t reach it. This is my condition right now.”

Shahin, who suffers from breast cancer, says that her condition has been deteriorating ever since she was denied exit from Gaza for treatment.

The Gaza Strip does not have adequate resources to provide her with appropriate treatment, yet she cannot leave, as Israeli authorities at the Erez border crossing, known as Beit Hanoon to Palestinians, rejected her permit three times in a row without explanation.

The condition of Hind Shahin, a breast cancer patient, has been deteriorating ever since she was denied exit from Gaza for treatment

Gaza has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since 2007. The Erez checkpoint is the main exit for two million residents of Gaza, connecting them to medical care in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

“I can’t go to Egypt either. The crossing closes for three, four months – so I’ll be stuck there,” Shaheen said.

Her struggle is familiar to thousands of patients in Gaza, where around 1,500 people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Chemotherapy drugs are not always available, nor are radiotherapy, molecular therapy, PET scans or isotope scans.

READ MORE: Siege limits options for Gaza’s chronically ill

Gisha, the Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement, says that patients in Gaza have increasingly been blocked from leaving due to “security” precautions. Others are interrogated at the crossing or forced to wait lengthy periods of time for a response.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), approval rates for exit permits from Gaza dropped as low as 44 percent in October 2016, compared with 82 percent in 2014 and 93 percent in 2012.

“[The patients] ask for permission again and again, but the response from Israeli authorities is always that it’s under [assessment],” Awad Aeshan, a radiation oncologist at Al-Shifa hospital, told Al Jazeera. “They continue to assess for one year, two years until the patient dies. So this is a massacre of our cancer patients. They have placed a siege on the Gaza Strip and they don’t permit our cancer patients to leave for treatment.”

My husband and children cried a lot when I was diagnosed. I think about the future now and how to secure my children before I die.

Seham Tatari, leukaemia patient

An Israeli spokesperson from the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) unit disputed this claim, citing an increase in the number of patients crossing Erez in recent years, from 22,380 in 2013 to 30,768 in 2016. However, the numbers do not take into account Gaza’s steep population growth.

Breast cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, yet five-year survival rates in Gaza are as low as 30 percent, compared with around 85 percent in England and 86 percent in Israel.

Radiotherapy is vital for breast conservation, but as it is unavailable in Gaza, a high number of women undergo a full mastectomy and lymph node clearance, which would normally be unnecessary.

When Philippa Whitford, a Scottish breast cancer surgeon, asked a patient support group in Gaza’s Al-Bureij refugee camp how many had undergone mastectomy, all of them raised their hands. “Radio isotopes used in bone scans or for guided biopsy of axillary lymph nodes are forbidden entry into Gaza despite having no potentially dangerous application,” Whitford wrote in a column.

Patients are also often diagnosed with cancer at later stages due to limited services; Gaza only has two functioning mammograms.

Aeshan says that he sees between 50 and 60 patients a day, and only half of them can receive their chemotherapy treatment in Gaza. Around two-thirds of cancer patients require radiotherapy treatment, and hundreds are referred for outside treatment in occupied East Jerusalem every month.

Due to the decade-long blockade, surgical skills in Gaza have been frozen in time. According to a 2010 report by the WHO, there are no specialist surgeons to treat oesophageal, pancreatic or lung cancer.

Seham Tatari, 52, who is battling chronic lymphoid leukaemia, had been leaving Gaza every 20 days for chemotherapy treatment in the occupied West Bank. She had just four more sessions to go when she received a text message last October regarding her permit. It read: “Seham Tatari – Banned.”

“I’ve been going every 20 days for the past three years. Why am I banned now? It doesn’t make any sense,” Tatari told a cancer patients’ support group in Gaza City.

OPINION: Apparently no one cares about Gaza

Chemotherapy treatment is a painful process and if it is interrupted, the patient has to start over from the beginning.

“My husband and children cried a lot when I was diagnosed. I think about the future now and how to secure my children before I die. We are dying slowly in Gaza,” Tatari said. “My cancer was controllable [before they banned me from leaving], but now it can spread. My whole body is in pain because I haven’t been taking any medications; they’re not available all the time in Gaza.”

Before the start of the blockade in 2007, Gaza was the centre for medications, said Talha Ahmad, a chemotherapy pharmacist. He now describes his workplace at the hospital as a war zone.

Talha Ahmad, a chemotherapy pharmacist, points to a shortage of medications in Gaza

“I’m fighting everywhere, every day to have the medications required for my patients,” Ahmad told Al Jazeera.

“We have a big shortage in basic medications. I’m not talking about new generations of chemotherapy medications; I’m talking about old medications, used 20 years ago in the world. We have a big shortage of them here.”

In August 2016, 17 percent of cancer drugs were at zero stock – less than one month’s supply on shelves – according to Medical Aid for Palestinians.

“I try to tell [my patients], ‘Your medication is not available,’ as gently as possible. It’s as if you’re telling them, ‘I will kill you slowly because your medication is not available,'” Ahmad said.

“I try to make adaptations to at least give them hope. I say, ‘It’s OK, it will be here next week. This delay will not harm you.’ But I believe these patients have the right to have their medication [immediately].”

INTERACTIVE: Gaza – A life under siege

There have also been reports of extortion of patients as they attempt to reach hospitals a short distance away for life-saving treatment.

Last July, 19-year-old Yousef Younis received a phone call from the Israeli security service after applying for a permit to treat his leukaemia in Jerusalem. They told him that he could cross if he collaborated with them. He refused, and consequently, his permit was denied. His health quickly deteriorated, and he died the next month.

Israel as an occupying force is obligated under international humanitarian law to ensure the Palestinian population’s access to medical treatment and to maintain its medical facilities, hospitals and services in the occupied territories.

Gisha found that whenever they challenged a denied permit legally or through media work, Israeli authorities would reverse their decision and grant a travel permit. “This calls into question the arbitrary and slack decision-making process for assigning a security block in the first place,” Gisha noted.

Back at Al-Rantisi Hospital, Muhammad Qahman, 67, waits for his appointment. Three days after his brother died from lung cancer, Qahman was diagnosed with the same illness. The cancer has now spread to his brain.

The last time he went through Erez, Qahman was in a bad state and waited at the crossing for two hours with an oxygen mask on, his family said. They are worried about his deteriorating condition and the expensive medications available only in Israel.

“He won’t recover from the disease itself; we’re just delaying the consequences,” Qahman’s son told Al Jazeera.

(Source / 06.02.2017)

B’Tselem: Palestinian ‘did not pose any danger’ when killed by sniper during clashes


BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian youth killed by Israeli forces in December did not represent a threat when he was shot dead by an Israeli army sniper, Israeli human rights group B’Tselem said in a report published on Sunday.

Ahmad al-Kharroubi, 19, was shot by Israeli with live ammunition during clashes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Kafr Aqab on Dec. 22, as Israeli forces were carrying out a raid to partially demolish the house of Palestinian Misbah Abu Sbeih, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in Octoberafter carrying out a deadly shooting attack.
Al-Kharroubi was shot by a sniper in the neck, succumbing to his injuries shortly before arriving to the hospital.
According to Ma’an documentation, the youth was one of 112 Palestinians to have been killed in 2016 in Israeli-Palestinian violence, 23 of whom were killed in clashes or army raids. Fifteen Israelis were killed during the same time period.
At the time, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces had shot and killed al-Kharroubi after he threw improvised explosive devices at soldiers.
However, testimonies collected by B’Tselem stated that “no incendiary device was thrown at the security forces from the area where al-Kharroubi and the other youths were positioned.”
The organization reported that a group of Palestinian youths, including al-Kharroubi, were hiding in between two buildings behind a low wall nearly 100 meters away from Israeli jeeps forming a roadblock between them and the bulk of the clashes that night.
“There were hardly any clashes on our side of the roadblock,” D.D., one of the Palestinians who witnessed the scene, told B’Tselem. “From the south, on the other side of the jeeps we heard the sounds of stun grenades and live gunfire, but we couldn’t see the clashes.
“Fifteen minutes after we arrived, a sniper fired a live bullet that hit Ahmad, but no one could see him or work out where the sniper was — on a roof or on the ground,” D.D. added. “One of the guys approached Ahmad and another shot was fired toward him, but it didn’t hit anyone. The guys who were close to Ahmad lifted him up and moved him to the sidewalk.”
B’Tselem stated that the youths’ position between 80 and 100 meters away from Israeli soldiers meant that “they could not pose any danger.”
“At the time al-Kharroubi was shot in the neck and killed, and at the time the snipers fired toward the other youths attempting to remove al-Kharroubi, the youths were not posing a threat to anyone,” B’Tselem wrote. “Firing at the torso of a person hiding behind a wall, even if he were throwing stones at the security forces, is unjustified and illegal.”
B’Tselem emphasized that al-Kharroubi’s “pointless death” occurred during a raid to carry out a punitive demolition, calling both “illegal” and “immoral.”
B’Tselem ceased referring cases to Israeli military law enforcement in May, deeming the effort “ineffective” or likely to be used to whitewash the army’s crimes.
“The obligation to investigate and bring to justice those responsible for such incidents remains on the shoulders of the military system, but as long as the (Military Advocate General) Corps persists in it systemic whitewashing, nothing will deter security force personnel from continuing to shoot and kill Palestinians who do not present a danger,” the group stated.
(Source / 06.02.2017)

Syrian opposition rejects constitution proposed by Russia

Representatives of Turkey, Russia, Iran and UN attend a meeting where they will discuss the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire agreement, in Astana, Kazakhstan on February 6, 2017 [Aliia Raimbekova/Anadolu]

Representatives of Turkey, Russia, Iran and UN attend a meeting where they will discuss the implementation of the Syrian ceasefire agreement, in Astana, Kazakhstan on February 6, 2017

A delegation of Syrian opposition groups has rejected a draft constitution proposed by Russia during meetings with Russian and Turkish sides which ended on Saturday.

During the meetings, held in the Turkish capital Ankara, the opposition groups requested Russia standby its commitments that the regime and allied militias respect a ceasefire agreement before going to the Geneva negotiations due to be held later this month.

The opposition delegation explained that it would not participate in the Geneva negotiations unless the ceasefire on the ground becomes effective.

Read: Syrian opposition rejects UN envoy’s proposal for peace talks

A senior Turkish source said on Friday that Turkey and the armed opposition delegation refused to discuss the constitution during a meeting held at the Turkish foreign ministry headquarters in Ankara.

Russia distributed during the Astana negotiations last month, a draft constitution for Syria.

(Source / 06.02.2017)

2 Palestinians kidnapped by IOF, settlers defile Islamic sites


The Israeli occupation forces at daybreak Monday kidnapped two Palestinians from eastern Nablus, at the same time as Israeli settlers broke into Islamic holy shrines in the area.

Palestinian youngsters Mohamed Bishkar and Bassem al-Afghani were kidnapped by the IOF from their family homes in Askar al-Jadeed camp, in eastern Nablus.

At the same time, hundreds of Israeli settlers stormed Nablus’s southeastern town of Ourata and performed sacrilegious rituals in Islamic holy shrines.

Overnight, the IOF cordoned off traffic circles in western Jenin province, in the northern West Bank, before they stormed al-Tiba town, where Palestinians had been subjected to intensive questioning. The IOF reportedly wreaked havoc on Palestinian commercial shops.

The occupation troops further set up checkpoints across the Jenin-Haifa road and inspected Palestinian vehicles driving in the area.

(Source / 06.02.2017)

The Moroccan government impasse has a number of potential scenarios

Moroccan King Mohammed VI attends the assembly of the African Union (AU) [Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu]

Moroccan King Mohammed VI attends the assembly of the African Union

Among his most recent media coverage, Abdelilah Benkiran, designated as Morocco’s head of government, reaffirmed the halting of government-forming negotiations. After four months of trying, he admits bluntly to the absence of serious negotiators. The situation deals a blow to democratisation promises from the highest political authorities in post-2011 Morocco. The main negotiator — and hence the most obvious source of government blockage — has been Aziz Akhannouch, the new secretary general of the National Rally of Independents (RNI). To form the government, Akhannouch is asking the Justice and Development Party (PJD) to reject its pre-election allies and substitute them with other parties of his choice.

To legitimise his condition, Akhannouch — who’s RNI only won 37 parliamentary seats — merged with another party and took over two others after the elections. Thus, he feels that he has sufficient back-up to impose the four parties on the PJD, which won 125 seats. As the impasse continues, the RNI leader is presented as the only saviour, notwithstanding the undemocratic effects of the situation. However, accepting this scenario will not only form an ill-shapen six-party government, but it will also be one of the most humiliating outcomes that any election in Morocco has ever had.

In addition to the four parties surrendering to Akhannouch’s will, the RNI’s wealthy leader receives heavy support from state-related media and political analysts. In talk shows and op-eds, the impression being given is that the government has a pressing need for consent from the economic networks. They depict, quite falsely, economic circles as a monolithic, manipulable bloc. The claim tends equally to scare such circles, though in its first mandate, the PJD-led government opted for reforms without jeopardising the interests of big business.

Pro-deep state analysts also hint at closeness to the palace as an added value. Being a friend of the king, Akhannouch-supporting propaganda machines invest in the relationship, despite the damage that this does to royal neutrality.

Moreover, the toppling of Islamist-led governments regionally and the rise of Trumpism have encouraged analysts to prioritise the protection of the kingdom’s national interests, as if the current election results threaten them. For the general public, all this means is that the deep state favours Akhannouch, which may cripple post-election scenarios. With the developments since the election last October, the PJD has three possibilities: two can further complicate political relations while one can be a less conflictual third way.

For a start, the PJD could admit defeat in trying to form a government and ask the king to call for another election. According to the 2011 constitution, only the leader of the majority party in parliament can form the government. An early election, though, will tarnish the country’s image. Various Moroccan institutions, especially the monarchy, see democratisation, freedom of speech and human rights as key components in a different Arab Spring narrative. A re-run of the elections, especially without constitutional reform, will reveal the 2011 constitution’s gaps and devalue all the discourse that extolled its virtues. Furthermore, a new election could well produce a similar result, with the PJD taking the lead. It will actually solve nothing. The only possibility for the political scene to be changed would probably be electoral fraud, which Morocco cannot tolerate in its current regional and international circumstances.

The second option is to put the PJD into opposition. The party’s leadership openly disregards this move, not least because allowing the winning party the option of forming the main opposition is anti-constitutional. Such a move would need constitutional reform and would facilitate more attacks on the PJD. Meanwhile, unlike parties which fear becoming the opposition, the PJD has distinguished between government experience and the party structure to keep the latter strong, adding to the experience that its MPs have gathered in decision-making. Thus, it will be difficult for a government to function with the PJD in opposition. The resulting atmosphere may entail a direct struggle with the palace, which the party has been trying to avoid ever since it got involved in party politics.

The third way is to open a direct dialogue with the king, who favours being treated as a neutral political actor between parties. He has taken careful steps to keep his distance from political parties and respect the constitution. Following the election, the king immediately designated Benkiran for the post of head of government. Later, he sent the head of the constitution-drafting committee, Abdellatif El Manouni, to request the prompt formation of the government, while implying the constitution’s pivotal place in the Moroccan political sphere.

However, royal neutrality necessitates the respecting of democratic processes. The constitution bans MPs from switching to other parties post-election, not to mention the annexation of whole parties. Also, in his Dakar speech, the king ensured the formation of a government that prioritises efficient elites. In the Akhannouch bloc of election-losing parties, one party has no government experience, another had three ministers that brought disgrace upon the previous government, while RNI ministers defended the “state servants” scandal. The fourth accepted the post of parliamentary speaker despite much controversy surrounding the legitimacy of the move. Thus, the greater efficiency resides with the PJD bloc.

“Africa can and must validate, on its own, its elections and thus endorse its citizens’ free choice,” said King Mohammed VI in his speech at the 28th African Union Summit. This royal conviction, if applied in Morocco, can guarantee genuine respect for the public choice expressed on 7 October last year. If approaching Africa with such a mindset, then Morocco’s development projects also require democratic justice within. The PJD’s understanding of the equation not only encourages perseverance against the blockage but also makes requests for joint efforts to protect democracy completely legitimate.

(Source / 06.02.2017)

IOA grabs hold of Palestinian lands in Qaryout


The Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) late on Sunday seized Palestinian lands in Nablus’s southern town of Qaryout, in the northern West Bank.

Speaking with a PIC news correspondent, anti-settlement activist Bashar al-Qaryouti said the occupation soldiers stormed Qaryout late on Sunday evening and fenced off Palestinian land lots near the Israeli illegal settlement outpost of Hufal under the security pretext.

He pointed out that Palestinian lands in western Qaryout have been subjected to Israel’s land grab schemes, which have seen a swift rise over recent weeks.

(Source / 06.02.2017)

Yemen’s Qaeda: Arwa, Anas Baghdadi Killed in Baida Operation

AQAP leader Qasim al-Raymi. Getty Images

AQAP leader Qasim al-Raymi

Washington- The leader of al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch swore revenge after a U.S. raid on a compound last month killed several terrorists and some civilians.

Qasim al-Raymi, head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), accused the U.S. of killing civilians in the Jan. 29 raid in an 11-minute audio address.

He confirmed that the operation carried out by U.S. elite forces against al-Qaeda in Baida province killed a number of the group’s militants, including fugitive Arwa Baghdadi, her son Osama and her brother Anas Baghdadi.

He added: “Anas’ wife was injured as they were all at the stronghold of the organization in Yemen.”

He noted that the operation also resulted in the deaths of the wives of two members of the organization.

Al-Raymi, also known as Abu Hurayrah, who is wanted in many countries for being affiliated with al-Qaeda, sent an indirect message in the 11- minute audio to announce that he wasn’t killed in the raid.

He pointed out that a prominent figure in the organization, Abdelilah al-Dhahab, was not killed but the latter’s son had died.

An American Special Forces unit attacked the AQAP compound in Baida on Jan. 29, killing militants and possibly some civilians, according to U.S. officials.

A U.S. Navy SEAL was killed in a firefight and three American soldiers were wounded.

U.S. special operations forces had mounted the raid in the Yakla region of Baida against AQAP, which Washington viewed as the global terror network’s most dangerous branch.

On the AQAP side, 14 fighters, including women, were killed, according to the Pentagon.

Arwa Baghdadi, one of al-Qaeda’s members, had fled Saudi Arabia after a court convicted her on terror charges.

She escaped with her son Osama, her brother Anas, known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and his Egyptian wife. They were all killed in the U.S. raid except for Anas’ wife, according to al-Raymi’s announcement.

Arwa had married suspected al-Qaeda member Yassin al-Barakati while she was detained in prison, and after getting divorced she married Salem al-Sharif who was mourned by the organization’s head in the audio.

She stood accused of joining al-Qaeda and of being involved with the “misguided group.” Arwa was bailed out of jail in 2012 and fled the next year.

(Source / 06.02.2017)

Activists: Arresting al-Qiq arbitrary


Palestinian activists renewed affirmation on Sunday that arresting the Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qiq by the Israeli occupation authorities (IOA) is an arbitrary action that has no legal justification.

Naser Abu Bakr, representative of the Palestinian journalists, said in a conference held by the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) in Ramallah city on Sunday that arresting journalist al-Qiq falls in line with Israeli practices targeting Palestinian journalists in an attempt to distort the truth.

For his part, Head of Liberties Committee, Mohammed al-Lahham, affirmed that the members of the PJS will continue to defend al-Qiq and all detained journalists using the legal means available, especially that they were arrested for their work in journalism.

Journalist Fayha Shalash, al-Qiq’s wife, said that arresting her husband and extending his detention “is part of an Israeli attempt to eliminate the Palestinian icons,” adding that Israel seeks to break the symbolic image of individual hunger strikes.

Shalash added that the IOA is trying to find a justification or charge for holding her husband through summoning her for interrogation as well as raiding the family’s house and wreaking havoc in it.

She called on the PJS and all human rights organizations to act against Israel’s flimsy allegations aimed at renewing al-Qiq’s investigation, and asked the Palestinian presidency and government to pressure Israel to release him.

The defense lawyer Khaled Zabarqa said that the accusations mentioned in al-Qiq’s file which was submitted to the court are related to his political activities and his support for the issues of Palestinian martyrs and prisoners.

Zabarqa mentioned that prosecuting journalist al-Qiq is an arbitrary action that has no legal basis, noting that until this moment the IOA couldn’t find any charge that convicts him.

The lawyer pointed out that al-Qiq will appear in court on Monday for trial to discuss his legal situation, adding that al-Qiq is sticking to his decision to go on a hunger strike once turned to administrative detention.

The Israeli occupation forces re-arrested journalist al-Qiq at Beit El checkpoint to the north of al-Bireh city on 15th January 2017 after detaining him along with a number of relatives of Palestinian martyrs who had attended a protest in Bethlehem and who were later released.

The Palestinian journalist was previously arrested on 21st November 2015 by the IOA after raiding his house in Abu Qash town, to the north of Ramallah, and turned him to administrative detention that lasted for 6 months.

On 19th May 2016, al-Qiq clinched a deal following a 94-day hunger strike that he started on 25th November 2015 in protest at the bad treatment, administrative detention, and torture.

(Source / 06.02.2017)