EU must act immediately to save life of Al-Qiq

RAMALLAH, February 24, 2016 (WAFA) – Martina Anderson, Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Palestine, called on the European Union to intervene to save the life of hunger striking journalist Mohammad al-Qiq.

She said following a meeting of the Delegation that resolved to support Al-Qiq who is on his 92nd day of hunger strike, “The EU must put pressure on Israel to save the life of Al-Qiq before it is too late.”

Al-Qiq’s health is in a critical condition, but he has said will remain on hunger strike till he is freed or dies.

Anderson explained “Al-Qiq is undertaking this strike for all Palestinian prisoners. He is hunger-striking in protest at being detained without charge and against being tortured.”

“I call on EU High Representative Mogherini to pick up the phone and call Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to intercede on Al-Qiq’s behalf,” Anderson said. “Al-Qiq has asked to be transferred to a hospital in Ramallah. He is near death and his family is not even allowed to visit him”.

Al-Qiq is one of over 660 Palestinians under administrative detention, a practice used by Israel in the West Bank involving detention without the detainees or their lawyers knowing what they are being charged with, often on the basis of secret evidence and for prolonged periods.

Israel has increased the use of administrative detention in recent months as it cracks down on the recent wave of violence in the occupied Palestinian Territories.

“Slamming people in prison without charge and shooting alleged attackers on sight are not going to put an end to the violence or resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Anderson said.

“The only way to do this is with a serious push for a two-state solution and the EU must live up to its political commitments and lead an international effort to make this a reality.”

“The EU must act now because the situation in Palestine is a powder keg,” Chair Anderson, who recently led a cross-party delegation to Palestine, stated.

“Palestinians are losing faith in the peace process, in the EU and in our ability to uphold international law.”

She noted that illegal Israeli settlements are expanding rapidly and to make way for them, Israel has stepped up demolitions of EU humanitarian aid funded by EU taxpayers’ money. “In just six weeks this year it has destroyed almost as many structures as it did the whole of last year, according to the UN.”

On Sunday, a school in Abu Nwar, a Bedouin community we visited, was demolished and small children were left without a roof over their heads for their lessons.

“The EU must put a stop to this. We must safeguard not only our credibility but Europe’s very safety as we will be affected if the situation explodes,” Anderson said.

 

Wafa