Palestinian prisoners, Israel make deal to end hunger strike

Article – The Scoop Team

An Egyptian and Jordanian-brokered deal has been struck to end the ongoing hunger strike among around 2,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli military prisons. The agreement includes Israeli promises to allow family prison visits from Gaza, end …

Palestinian prisoners and Israel make deal to end hunger strike

The Scoop Team
May 15, 2012

An Egyptian and Jordanian-brokered deal has been struck to end the ongoing hunger strike among around 2,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli military prisons. The agreement includes Israeli promises to allow family prison visits from Gaza, end solitary confinement and return the bodies of 100 Palestinian fighters killed in Israel.

The deal has been met with relief by Palestinians and celebrated by both sides, but conflicting reports about the deal’s terms have left many uncertain. The BBC reports that the deal was confirmed by both the Palestinian Prisoners Club and the Israel Prisons Authority and includes an end to administrative detention. However Al Jazeera writes that the deal is still yet to be reviewed by the prisoners’ strike committee themselves.

Nevertheless, Haaretz reports that the deal is a diplomatic achievement defusing a potentially highly politically volatile situation, while Israel National News terms the deal a ‘concession’.

Israel stressed that prisoners agreed to end all subversive activities inside the jails, but Palestinian authorities are yet to confirm this.

Israel has not confirmed Palestinian claims that it agreed to stop extending sentences of administrative detention beyond their initial six month period without additional evidence. Even if Palestinian claims are correct, the deal will not see prisoners currently serving such terms set free.

Several prisoners currently under administrative detention, including Thaer Halahleh and Bilal Diab, had vowed to continue their hunger strike until they are released. Thaer Halahleh, however, has just ended his 77-day long strike, as he will be released on June 5th after Israel agreed not to renew detention. Bilal Diab also reportedly agreed to end his strike, but will not be released until August 11.

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