Palestinian prisoner ends hunger strike in deal with Israel

Israel reportedly agrees not to renew administrative detention of Palestinian Islamic Jihad member Hisham Abu Hawash.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

Hisham Abu Hawash agreed to end his 140-day hunger strike after reaching an agreement with Israel. The 40-year-old Hawash, who is a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, will be released from administrative detention next month, his lawyer said.

Hawash’s lawyer, Jawad Boulos, said Israel agreed not to renew his administrative detention and pledged to release Hawash on February 26.

Haaretz reported that the negotiations involved Israeli, Palestinian Authority and Egyptian officials. Egypt has been trying to broker a cease fire between Hamas and Israel.  Islamic Jihad threatened violence if Hawash dies in Israeli custody.

Islamic Jihad’s firing of two rockets towards Israel on Saturday may have been related to Hawash’s deteriorating health. Hawash was recently transferred to the Shamir Medical Center (Assaf HaRofeh) south of Tel Aviv.

The controversial practice of administrative detention is a holdover from the British Mandate. The policy allows the government to arrest and hold a suspect without charge if they pose a security risk. It is usually used when the state has sensitive intelligence indicating that the suspect is involved in terror activity even though the suspect has not necessarily committed a crime.

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