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Report: Palestinian territories

Palestinian prisoner ends long-term hunger strike

Reuters/Almmar Awad/Files

A Palestinian held in Israeli prison who had been on a partial hunger strike has agreed to begin eating again following an agreement to release him in eight months' time. Samer al-Issawi had previously refused offers of deportation, saying that he would only stop the strike if he could be released to his hometown in Jerusalem.

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Samer Al-Issawi had been on a partial hunger strike for 265 days in protest at his re-arrest, after he was freed as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap deal.

He ended his hunger strike yesterday following the official signing of his release deal in an Israeli military court.

Dossier: Gaza 2009

The build-up to the agreement had led to concerns by both Israeli and Palestinian officials that his deteriorating health risked promoting extreme civil unrest among Palestinians.

Prior to the deal, Issawi was due to serve out the remainder of his original sentence which would have seen him freed in 2029.

Israeli officials previously claimed that Issawi had violated his bail conditions by crossing from Jerusalem into the West Bank.

Issawi was initially arrested for opening fire on an Israeli bus in 2002, as a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
 

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