Palestinian prisoner ends 8-month hunger strike

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Palestinian prisoner Samer Issawi signed an agreement with Israel to end a more than eight-month hunger strike in exchange for an early release.


Issawi signed the agreement Tuesday at Kaplan Medical Center, where he is receiving vitamins intravenously. His uncle and brother were present at the signing of the agreement, the Ma’an Palestinian news service reported.

On Monday, Issawi said he would boycott court hearings, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli courts.

Doctors have said Issawi’s life is in imminent danger after 266 days of refusing food. Israeli officials are concerned about Palestinian violence that could erupt if Issawi dies in prison. 

Under the agreement signed Tuesday, Issawi will be released from jail on Dec. 23 and returned to his eastern Jerusalem home.

Issawi in 2002 was sentenced to 26 years in prison for terrorist activities. In 2011, Issawi was among the more than 1,000 prisoners released in the Gilad Shalit swap, but he was rearrested more than a year later and shortly after started his hunger strike.


Need to know? Click here to sign up for JTA’s free e-newsletters.

Click to write a letter to the editor.