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Report: Middle East

Palestinian prisoner Hana Shalabi ends hunger strike, interned in Gaza

Reuters/Mohammed Salem

The Palestinian prisoner Hana Shalabi has ended her hunger strike after 43 days in exchange for being deported to Gaza.

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Shalabi was initially imprisoned in Israel for 25 months, but was released in October 2011 during the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

After being arrested on 16 February under administrative detention provisions, she went on hunger strike in protest at the practice, which permits arrest without charge. Israel maintains that she is an active member of the Islamic Jihad movement, although her family have strongly denied this

In a deal between the Israeli authorities and Shalabi’s lawyer Jawad Boulus late on Thursday night, following an intervention from the Red Cross and Palestinian officials, Shalabi agreed to be deported to live in the Gaza Strip for the next three years.

Her condition had deteriorated so dramatically that doctors from the group Physicians for Human Rights reported earlier this week that she was in serious danger of suffering a heart attack due to extreme muscle wastage. 

Boulus reported Tuesday that she was bleeding from her nose and mouth.

Many in the West Bank, especially those in Shalabi’s hometown of Jenin, were dismayed by the deal as it would prevent Shalabi from returning home to her family.

She has stated that she was forcibly stripsearched and assaulted by Israeli soldiers during her arrest.

According to the Israeli human rights group B’Tslem, Israel is currently holding a total of 320 Palestinians without charge under the practice of administrative detention.

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