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Issawi relatives say assaulted by Israel police

April 22, 2013 12:48 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2013 12:47 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The sister and mother of long term hunger striker Samer Issawi said Monday that Israeli police assaulted them as they attempted to visit Issawi at an Israeli hospital.

Shireen Issawi, the sister of Samer, told Ma'an that Israeli police assaulted them as they tried to enter Kaplan hospital to attend a court hearing for Issawi, who has been on hunger strike for over 270 days.

Shireen Issawi, a lawyer, told Ma'an that there have not been any official offers from Israel to free Issawi, and all proposals so far have been an attempt to force Samer to end his hunger strike.

Nasser Qous, head of a detainee's center in Jerusalem, told Ma'an Monday that Issawi's court hearing is complicated as it is taking place at Kaplan hospital, which is a violation of his rights.

On Sunday, Palestinian Authority minister for prisoners Issa Qaraqe told Ma'an that Issawi had accepted an offer by Israel to end his strike action, on the condition that a written agreement was signed in the presence of lawyers and ICRC representatives.

Earlier, Israel's Ofer military court said it would hold an "urgent" hearing for Samer Issawi on Monday after he decided to stop taking vitamin supplements to protest dissatisfaction with ongoing negotiations with Israel about his release.

Israeli negotiators have been visiting Issawi at Kaplan Medical Center and pressuring him to accept proposals to end his hunger strike, Palestinian Prisoner Society lawyer Jawad Boulos said last week.

Issawi has so far refused all offers by Israel to be exiled, insisting on being released to his home in Jerusalem.

Issawi, 33, was first arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 26 years for military activities on behalf of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
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