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Qaraqe: Egypt intervening to free Khader Adnan

Feb. 10, 2012 8:08 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 12, 2012 11:04 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian Authority's prisoners affairs minister Issa Qaraqe said Friday that Egypt was intervening with Israel to free Khader Adnan, who has been on hunger strike for 55 days.

Qaraqe said there had been communications between Egyptian officials and the Israeli government based on an official request from Palestinians to intervene to save Adnan’s life.

He added that the Palestinian leadership of Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad made their calls to several countries in order to request that they intervene and release the prisoner.

Palestinian detainees, meanwhile, announced that Sunday will be a day of hunger strikes to support Adnan, Qaraqe said.

Prisoners warned in a letter to the general director of the prisons that the situation may escalate if anything happens with Adnan and they demanded his release. They also said the prison administration and the Israeli government were to be held responsible for his fate.

The prisoners, according to Qaraqe's statement, have threatened to escalate the protest and strike if the Israeli Court of Appeals fails to respond. The court is expected to rule Sunday.

Israeli authorities have refused to allow Qaraqe and family members to check up on his health.

UN envoy following case 'with concern'

The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process said he is following the case "with concern", calling on Israel "to do everything in its power to preserve the health of the prisoner and resolve this case while abiding by all legal obligations under international law."

Robert Serry says his office "is following up on some of the issues related to the question of prisoners, particularly on the use of administrative detention, which should only be employed in exceptional circumstances," a statement said.
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