Samer Issawi
Photo: Reuters

Palestinian prisoner in deal with Israel to end hunger strike

Reuters quotes Palestinian officials as saying Samer Issawi agreed to serve eight months after which he will be freed to Jerusalem. Israel yet to confirm report

A Palestinian prisoner held by Israel has agreed to end an on-off hunger strike on Monday which lasted for more than eight months in exchange for an early release, Palestinian officials told Reuters.


The fast by Samer Issawi, 32, from a suburb of Jerusalem, had stoked weeks of street protests and concerns by Israel that his death might lead to mass unrest.


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Issawi agreed on a deal brokered by Israeli and Palestinian officials to serve eight months for allegedly violating bail conditions for an earlier release, after which he will be freed to his Jerusalem home, Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian prisoner organization, told Reuters.


Issawi's lawyer and sister conveyed the offer just before midnight to his bedside in Israel's Kaplan hospital, where he had been under Israeli guard and receiving intravenous vitamins but was refusing food.


Israel convicted Issawi of opening fire on an Israeli bus in 2002, but released him in 2011 along with more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit who was held hostage by Hamas.


He was re-arrested last July after Israel said he violated the terms of his release by crossing from east Jerusalem to the West Bank, and ordered him to stay in jail until 2029 - his original sentence.


An Israeli official told Reuters last week that Issawi had crossed into the West Bank as part of "continued involvement in attempting to establish terror cells."


Monday's deal will see Issawi serve eight months for leaving Jerusalem - a decision Palestinian officials say will likely be endorsed by an Israeli military court on Tuesday.


Both Palestinian and Israeli officials have visited Issawi frequently in recent weeks to reach a compromise and pre-empt the violence his death could provoke.



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פרסום ראשון: 04.23.13, 08:19
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