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Hunger-striking detainees sign deal with prison authority
Published Monday 14/05/2012 (updated) 17/05/2012 10:02
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A Jordanian woman flashes the peace sign in front of the Palestinian flag during
a demonstration to show solidarity with Jordanian and Palestinian prisoners held
in Israeli jails, outside the US embassy in Amman May 13, 2012.
(Reuters/Majed Jaber)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Detainees on Monday signed a deal with the Israeli prison authority to end their mass hunger strike, officials told Ma'an.

Prisoner representatives from each of the factions agreed to the deal in Ashkelon jail, prisoners society chief Qaddura Fares said in a statement.

Israel's internal security service Shin Bet confirmed the deal, the Israeli news site Ynet reported.


Senior Hamas official Saleh Arouri, who was a member of the negotiations team, said Israel agreed to provide a list of accusations to administrative detainees, or release them at the end of their term.

In comments to the Hamas-affiliated new site Palestine Information Center, he said that under the Egypt-brokered deal Israel agreed to release all detainees from solitary confinement over the next 72 hours.

Israel will also lift a ban on family visits for detainees from the Gaza Strip, and revoke the "Shalit law," according to the official.

The "Shalit law" restricted prisoners' access to families and to educational materials as punishment for the five-year captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Shalit was freed in October in a prisoner swap agreement.

All or nothing

Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told Ma'an that all prisoners must end the hunger strike within 72 hours, and not later refuse food, for the deal to hold.

Around 2,000 prisoners joined a mass hunger strike launched on April 17 to demand fair prison conditions, according to prisoners groups' estimates.

Another group of prisoners held in administrative detention launched an earlier strike in protest at their detention without charge, including Bilal Diab, 27, and Thaer Halahla, 33, who have gone for 77 days without food.

Their lawyer Jamil Khatib told Ma'an that Diab and Halahla were informed of the deal earlier Monday. They were told the agreement includes their release at the end of their detention term but both refused to stop their strike unless they were immediately released, Khatib said.

On Monday evening, a relative of Halahla said the long-term hunger-strikers were still deciding on next steps. Prisoners society lawyer Jawad Bulous is heading to the prison hospitals to discuss the deal with hunger-strikers, minister Issa Qaraqe told reporters.

Power of non-violence

PLO official Hanan Ashrawi applauded the deal and said it proved the power of non-violent resistance.

"The Palestinian prisoners in facing the Israeli Prison Authority is a victory not only for them and their families, but also for the millions of Palestinians living in the occupied Palestinian territory and in exile," Ashrawi said in a statement.

"The hunger strikers' courage is magnificently inspiring, and their selflessness deeply humbling," the official added.

She also thanked Egyptian mediators, the international community "and people of conscience worldwide" for supporting the strikers.
1 ) Ido / occupied Palestine
14/05/2012 19:37
...and the occupation will live another day.

2 ) FREE I / USA
14/05/2012 20:11
I'm ashame that USA turn a blindeye to the treatment of the palestinian and BLACK CONGRESS PEOPLE say nothing shame on you!!! I'm ashame that USA turn a blindeye to the Israeli treatmemt of palestinian and that BLACK CONGRESSMEN AND WOMEN say nothing they must of forgot about the OLD SOUTH AFRICA shame on you!!!

3 ) Tibi / Tubas
14/05/2012 20:14
Israel has been reasonable with the prisoners, and it will be reasonable with the Palestinian Authority (PA) too, but the PA must stop blocking talks, over the construction of a few homes, in disputed territory, or accept responsibility as we watch "Palestine" starve itself to death !!!

4 ) Mel / USA
14/05/2012 20:16
The whole poinbt is that THOUSANDS of ethnic political prisoners SHOULDN'T be held w/out charge OR prosecution thru' a rule of law trial as ANY true democracy would do,respecting the innocent before proven guilty rule! But

5 ) Mel / USA
14/05/2012 20:22
Israel's always been an autocratic,apartheid,racist state which only survives under paranoid militarit "emergency regs",left over by UK mandate.Lock up ANYONE who dissents,against the Zionist regime(Sieg Heil),especially anyone who's native Arab. If our USG was not in the same totalitarian mindset now,it would've been punishing Israel(stopping support)long B4 now.But....alas,Israel does as USG does now,&V.V.Criminally shameful to both!

6 ) Arnold / Canada
14/05/2012 20:33
Happy this finally over especially the Gilad Shalit law. If Hamas kidnaps any other soldier they MUST allow the Red Cross to visit.

7 ) mohamed / somalia
14/05/2012 21:00
with the best wishes for better days and better health for all, both palestinian and other who stood staunchly beside one andother through very difficult times. my allah bless palestine amiin.

8 ) Leila / France
14/05/2012 21:07
Tibi, what is your definition of "a few homes" ? So if I bring thousands of people to your house you won't mine, no? We will be there at 9 pm, ok? Please, let us know your address. Really, you Israelis are brainwashed and self-centred. Try to apply everything you say to yourself. You will see how 99% you wont have it! It is not we won;t accept more settlers, it is that we want them all out!!!!!!

9 ) southparkbear / usa
14/05/2012 21:48
can we find now a new subject for yet another glorious palestinian victory?

10 ) Richard SM / UK
14/05/2012 22:21
The Palestinian prisoners shouldn't have to be the ones protesting. It should be everyone else in Canada, in France, in UK, in Australia, in USA - and anyone who cares about consistent application of the the law. Write to your political representative as a citizen who supports the law and insist the law is upheld. The Security Council resolutions must be enforced. For example, UNSCR 237: the right to return for those from 1967 war; UNSCR 242: it is inadmissable to acquire land through war.

11 ) Charity Clayton / UK
14/05/2012 23:10
I am inclined to mistrust this agreement, we have seen multiple examples of the Israeli Authorities willingness to be totally dishonest in their dealings with both the Palestinians and the rest of the world. One point which immediately occurs is 'are they (Israel) proposing to give detainees access to proper legal representation? ' Somwhat a waste of paper to present them with a list of their so called crimes without granting them proper defence and trials.

12 ) Charity Clayton / UK
14/05/2012 23:19
Tibi, in what twisted reality is it reasonable to imprison people without charge for years on end, to torture them, to imprison children, to subject both adults and children to long periods of solitary confinement, to deprive them of family visits for years on end, to deprive them of proper medical attention...and so on. I suggest that if that were the treatment YOUR family were given we would hear a far different definition of "reasonable"

13 ) Victor / The Netherlands
14/05/2012 23:22
This one is only the beginning Southparkbear. I hope i will live the day that the Israli army is brought to trail in the Hague.

14 ) Shirlee / Australia
15/05/2012 00:48
Well said southpark bear, this says it all.**another glorious Palestinian victory**...another case of blackmail. You're hate filled hypocrites, who wouldn't know the truth hit them in the face. You can see the difference between Israel and Gaza/West Bank......if the reverse situation these people would have been left to die.....I wonder if any of you have watched any of the daily videos of hate that emanate from those places.? All you do is condemn & believe the lies you've been fed

15 ) # Free-2 & Mel-4 / USA too
15/05/2012 01:34
There is nothing to be ashamed of, regarding the Israeli treatmemt of palestinian (food, shelter, etc.), but You should be "ashame that USA and the UN both turn a blindeye to the PALESTINIAN TREATMENT CIVILIANS & SLEEPING BABIES, with their stabbings, drive-shooting, and suicide-bombing tactics !!! "The whole point is that THOUSANDS OF" STABBINGS, DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS, & SUICIDE BOMBINGS have be comitted, by the people filling Israeli jails !!

16 ) Tobias / USA
15/05/2012 02:05
1- Israel should have documented their refusal of food, and allowed them to become unconscious, and then feed them with a tube, and 2- Israel should documented the PA's refusal of talks, and allow "Palestine" to remain a 4th world non-state, with no future !!!

17 ) justice / Canada
15/05/2012 02:32
The irony is that the victims of this brutal and sadistic Israeli occupation are the ones that are jailed and the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity are the jailors. One day the tables will be turned and the real criminals will have to face justice.

18 ) Robby / USA
15/05/2012 06:24
2 ) FREE I / USA - kind of a bigoted attitude, what does skin color have to do with our congress people? But I do wonder why we have bilateral relations with Lebanon, a country that truly practices apartheid. We should demand the Lebanese release the 2nd and 3rd generation Palestinians born in that country from the "camps" and grant these people rights immediately.

19 ) Colin Wright / USA
15/05/2012 08:09
Leila #8 'So if I bring thousands of people to your house you won't mine, no? We will be there at 9 pm, ok? ' Don't forget that it is to be your house and Tibi should move himself out into the garage. Actually, off the property entirely, since he doesn't exist and you'll be shortly claiming he only arrived after you'd fixed the place up.

20 ) Colin Wright / USA
15/05/2012 08:10
To southparkbear #9 'can we find now a new subject for yet another glorious palestinian victory?' That would be up to Israel. What's the next nail she's planning to drive into her own coffin?

21 ) Jane / Pa
15/05/2012 11:56
It is a good news but it will be much better if PA and Hamas release own administrative detainees or break with praxis to keep inocent people in the court because of political will and revenge of some bad people. PA in Ramallah and Hamas in Gaza have learnt only bad things from Israel never good things like freedom of expression, etc. By the way what happenes with four journalist in the palestinian jail?

22 ) Terry / CA
15/05/2012 15:34
There would be no prisoners if the world respected international law, stopped arms sales to Israel, honoured BDS campaign, and supported the cause of independent Palestine, and worked for peace & justice with goal of free democratic Palestine. Fasting prisoners have shown amazing courage & need all our solidarity to be free in a free Palestine.

23 ) Mel / USA
15/05/2012 16:15
One can celebrate the immediate "deal",but the larger punishment still goes on i.e. the ILLEGAL collective punishment of MILLIONS of Palestinians,either in Palestine,or in the diaspora,in refugee status.Israel's 'indefinate detention' (incld.women/children)racist policy continues & 7,000 Palestinian Arabs are still POW's,in ETHNIC concentration camps for resisting 67yrs of FOREIGN occupation by brutal foreign(white)ethno-theocratic apartheidists,SPONSORED by Western POWERS=ongoing WAR CRIMES!
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