Awad Moved to Israeli Maximum Security Prison, Ends Hunger Strike

From Times Wire Services

Palestinian-American activist Mubarak Awad ended a hunger strike in its sixth day Tuesday, and he was transferred to a maximum-security prison, his American-born wife, Nancy Nye, said.

The government has blamed Awad, who advocates civil disobedience against Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, for inciting violence.

Awad was arrested Thursday, soon after Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir ordered his expulsion from Israel as an American citizen whose tourist visa had expired.

He began the hunger strike in his Jerusalem jail cell on Thursday. On Monday, Israel's Supreme Court ordered him held for at least two more weeks, until it hears his appeal on his expulsion. The court is scheduled to begin hearing his appeal May 23.

Awad contends that he has the right to continue living in Jerusalem because he was born there, in British-ruled Palestine, four years before Israeli independence. But the Israelis charge that he lost the right to residency because he left Israel for the United States in 1969 and eventually became a U.S. citizen.

Nye said her husband accepted food for the first time Tuesday, eating an orange. It was not immediately clear whether he would resume his fast at a future date, she said.

A spokeswoman for Awad's attorney, Jonathan Kuttab, said Awad was transferred Tuesday to the Ayalon Prison, a maximum-security facility in Ramle, 25 miles northwest of Jerusalem.

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