The condition of a Palestinian journalist on a hunger strike in an Israeli jail is deteriorating, the man's wife and a Palestinian official said Monday.
The journalist, Mohammed al-Qeq, 33, is on the 48th day of a hunger strike to protest his six-month incarceration without trial or charge, under what is called administrative detention. He was taken into custody Nov. 21. Israel's internal security agency, Shin Bet, said Qeq was arrested in connection with his alleged involvement in terrorist activities linked to the group Hamas.
He "is in critical condition after 48 days in hunger strike, and his life is at risk," said Issa Qaraqe, the Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs.
Qeq is being monitored in an Israeli hospital, according to Israel's prison service, which would not comment on his condition. His wife, Faihaa al-Qeq, said Israel "accused him of incitement."
He works as a correspondent for the Saudi channel Al-Majd and appears as an analyst on channels linked to Hamas. Israel arrested him in the past for his activities with Hamas' student organization.
Palestinian prisoners have used hunger strikes to draw attention to their detention without trial or charge. Qeq is the first journalist to do so.
Fearing that a fasting detainee's death could spark violence, Israel has at times acceded to hunger strikers' demands by agreeing to release them at the end of their terms of detention. Israel sometimes extends the administrative detention of suspects.
A contentious law passed last year allows Israel to force-feed a hunger striker if his life is in danger. Israel's medical establishment has protested the law, and there are no known instances of a prisoner being force-fed.
Also Monday, the Israeli military said forces shot a knife-wielding Palestinian who the military said attempted to stab a soldier in the West Bank, the latest in a four-month wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence that is roiling the region. The Palestinian's condition was not immediately known.