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Hunger-striking prisoner demands release, preemptively rejects deportation offer

July 4, 2016 4:04 P.M. (Updated: July 4, 2016 8:36 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Bilal Kayid reiterated his demands to be freed by Israeli authorities from administrative detention, preemptively rejecting an offer to be deported in lieu of being freed to his hometown of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

Lawyer Karim Ajweh, affiliated with the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, said after visiting the prisoner in Israel’s Ashkelon prison that Kayid would never agree to any deal with Israel that includes deportation.

“I won’t end my hunger strike unless my administrative detention is ended and I am released immediately,” stressed Kayid, who was placed in administrative detention -- internment without charges or trial -- on June 13, the day he was scheduled to be released from prison after serving a 14-and-a-half-year sentence.

Israeli forces at times deport Palestinian political prisoners to the Gaza Strip from the occupied West Bank as a condition of their release.

According to Ajweh, Kayid has lost 23 to 24 kilograms since he began his hunger strike on June 15, after living off only water for more than 20 days.

Kayid began his hunger strike primarily in protest of his administrative detention, but also in response to his extended placement in isolation.

He served the last several months of his near 15-year prison sentence in isolation, and has remained in isolation since Israeli forces sentenced him to six-months in administrative detention.

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