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Issawi to end hunger strike, lawyer says

April 23, 2013 9:56 A.M. (Updated: April 24, 2013 4:41 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Long term hunger striker Samer Issawi has agreed to end his hunger strike after finalizing a deal with Israel which will see him return to his home in Jerusalem, his lawyer Jawad Boulos said Tuesday.

Israeli authorities agreed to the wording of an agreement proposed by Issawi overnight Monday, which would see him serve eight months in Israeli detention in return for ending his strike action, Boulos told Ma'an.

Issawi will then be released to his hometown of Issawiya in Jerusalem.

Israeli officials reportedly agreed to the deal after Issawi said Monday that he would boycott any future court hearings and refuse to recognize the legitimacy of Israeli courts.

Authorities in Israel were also worried about Issawi's deteriorating health, Boulos said.

Issawi, who has been on hunger strike for over 265 days, started to take liquids overnight Monday upon recommendations from doctors.

His sister Shireen visited him overnight and said Issawi sends his greetings to all his supporters.

The deal will be finalized once both parties sign an agreement, which is likely to take place on Tuesday and announced during a press conference.

After the agreement is signed, Issawi will officially end his hunger strike, Shireen said.

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

He has become a symbol of resistance for Palestinians, who have regularly taken to the streets to show popular support for his protest action and demand his release.

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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