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Palestinian prisoner agrees to end 66-day hunger strike

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REPORTING FROM RAMALLAH, WEST BANK -- Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan, who had refused to eat for 66 days to protest his detention without charge or trial, agreed Tuesday to end his hunger strike in return for his release April 17, according to Adnan’s lawyer Jawad Boulus.

Boulus took Adnan’s case to the Israeli Supreme Court last week seeking to secure his release after reports from Physicians for Human Rights – Israel, who had visited him at Ziv Hospital in northern Israel, expressing concern about his health condition. However, after reaching a deal with the state prosecutor, the petition was withdrawn.

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Adnan, 33, an alleged member of the Islamic Jihad organization, was arrested Dec. 17 and placed in administrative detention, which allowed Israeli authorities to hold him for a period that could be extended indefinitely without charge or trial. There are currently more than 300 Palestinians held in administrative detention.

A military court sentenced Adnan on Jan. 8 to four months of administrative detention, which means he would not have been released before May 8.

An Israeli Justice Ministry statement said Adnan will be released April 17 and that it will not ask for an extension of his administrative detention.

“As long as no new significant and substantive material is added regarding the appellant, there is no intention to extend the administrative detention,” the ministry said.

Palestinians have held daily protests throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip in support of Adnan.

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--Maher Abukhater


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