Last week, following 94 days of surviving solely on water, Palestinian journalist Mohammad Al Qiq ended his hunger strike. Al Qiq, in his early thirties, is the father of two small children. He was placed in Israel’s custody after its army stormed his West Bank home in the middle of the night last November. He was held without charge or trial, in a procedure misnamed “administrative detention”, but more aptly called kidnap. Following his kidnap, Al Qiq decided to go on a hunger strike in protest of his detention without charge or trial. His demand was simple: provide a fair trial or release me.
Al Qiq is one of an estimated 650 Palestinians, including two members of the Palestinian parliament, currently being held under this system of indefinite Israeli detention without charge or trial. Administrative detention orders rely heavily on secret evidence — often obtained by torturing other Palestinians — that cannot be challenged by the detainee and, owing to the lack of fair trials or due process, detention orders can be renewed indefinitely provided that the detainee is brought before a kangaroo court that issues its stamp of approval for renewed detention.