Israel agrees to release Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike | Israeli-Palestinian conflict news

Hisham Abu Hawwash was released on February 26 after reaching an agreement with Israel. He was detained without charge or trial to end a 141-day hunger strike.

His lawyer said that a Palestinian prisoner who had been on a 141-day hunger strike to protest his acquittal agreed to end the fast after reaching an agreement with Israel and will be released next month.

Hisham Abu Hawwash is a 40-year-old father of five children. He is the latest of several Palestinians detained under “administrative detention” on hunger strikes, a measure that refers to prisoners without charge or trial. Was detained indefinitely.

Administrative detainees were arrested on the basis of “secret evidence”, did not know the charges against them, and were not allowed to defend themselves in court.

Abu Hawwash’s lawyer Jawad Boulos said on Tuesday that he agreed to end the hunger strike after Israel promised to release him on February 26. Israeli officials did not immediately comment.

The Palestinians rallied in support of Abu Khovash in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad threatened to take military action against Israel if he died while in custody.

The prisoner group warned that Abu Hawwash faces “imminent danger of death”.

Abu Hawwash is the latest of several prisoners who have refused food and water in protest against detention in recent weeks. Hunger strike protesters usually stay in hospital for long periods of time until the Israeli authorities agree to release them.

Like many people before him, Abkhovash was hospitalized last month. According to local media reports, in recent days, he fell into a coma and temporarily lost his eyesight and ability to speak.

Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim reported from Ramallah that people had “a lot of worries” about Abu Khovash’s life, and his wife and lawyer were in the hospital with him on Tuesday night.

His hunger strike was the longest since the eight-month hunger strike initiated by the released prisoner Samer Issawi, which ended in 2013.

‘risking one’s life’

The Palestinian Prisoners Club stated that Israel has recently increased the use of administrative detention, which is why the number of prisoners on hunger strikes has increased in order to combat measures that deprive individuals of due process rights.

The organization also stated that more than 1,600 administrative detention orders were issued against Palestinian prisoners in 2021 alone.

According to the Addameer Prisoner Rights Organization, to date, at least 500 administrative detainees have been held in Israeli prisons and detention facilities.

Milena Ansari, a prisoner support advocate from Addameer, welcomed the news that Abu Hawwash will be released.

“This is good news,” Ansari told Al Jazeera in Ramallah. “[But] It is unfair not to be released immediately…because there is no charge,” she said.

As the situation developed, the Palestinian detainees who had been acquitted declared Boycott of Israeli military courts.

Ansari said this was to “emphasize the mockery of the ongoing trial…there are no charges or any guarantee of a fair trial.”

Abdel Latif al-Qanou, spokesperson for the Hamas organization that administers Gaza, said that Abu Hawwash had achieved a “new victory” and “confirmed our The people and our detainees have the ability to win every battle they fight against the occupation”.

United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric welcomed the agreement with Abu Hawwash.

“We have always made it clear that detainees must be tried or released in accordance with legal procedures,” Dujarric said.

The 2.5 million Palestinians living in the West Bank are under the jurisdiction of Israeli military courts, while Jewish settlers living in illegal settlements and outposts are citizens under the jurisdiction of Israel’s civil justice system.

Israel occupied the West Bank in the 1967 war, but Palestinian leaders hope it will become a major part of their future country.