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Jamal Abu al-Leil suspends hunger strike after striking deal with Israel

March 12, 2017 4:48 P.M. (Updated: March 13, 2017 1:48 P.M.)
(File)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian prisoner Jamal Abu al-Leil suspended his hunger strike after 25 days on Sunday after reaching an agreement that would see him freed from Israeli custody after serving the remainder of his current six-month administrative detention sentence.

Abu al-Leil, a former member of Fatah’s revolutionary council, declared a hunger strike on Feb. 16 along with fellow Qalandiya refugee camp resident Raed Mteir, after they had both been imprisoned under administrative detention -- Israel’s policy of internment without trial or charges -- for a year.

The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs and the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said that Abu al-Leil had only consumed water for 25 days, adding that the Israel Prison Service (IPS) had transferred Abu al-Leil between prisons a number of times in order to pressure him to end his hunger strike.

Mteir ended his hunger strike after going 12 days without food, after reaching an agreement to be released in April 2017 without his administrative detention being renewed.

Meanwhile, fellow Palestinian prisoner Muhammad al-Qiq ended his second prominent hunger strike on Friday after 33 days without food.

While Israeli authorities claim the withholding of evidence during administrative detention, which allows detention for three- to six-month renewable intervals, is essential for state security concerns, rights groups have instead claimed that the policy allows Israeli authorities to hold Palestinians for an indefinite period of time without showing any evidence that could justify their detentions.

Rights groups say that Israel's administrative detention policy has also been used as an attempt to disrupt Palestinian political and social processes, notably targeting Palestinian politicians, activists, and journalists.

According to prisoners’ rights group Addameer, 6,500 Palestinians were detained by Israel as of January, 536 of whom were held in administrative detention.
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