RAMALLAH, May 15, 2012 (WAFA) – Five administrative detainees in Israeli jails who have been on hunger strike for over two months ended Tuesday their strike after they agreed to the deal struck on Monday between the prisoners and the Israeli prison authority, the Palestinian Prisoner Club (PPC) said.
Around 2000 Palestinian prisoners ended their hunger strike started on April 17 after the Israel Prison Service agreed to most of their demands. Prisoners’ representatives announced an end to the hunger strike after reaching an agreement with Israel, brokered by Egyptian mediators.
The demands included an end of administrate detention, which is imprisonment without charge or trial, end of solitary confinement, allowing family visits for Gaza prisoners and better living conditions in prisons, among others.
Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahleh have been on hunger strike for 77 straight days, the longest hunger strike, demanding an end to their detention. The two, along with three others who were on hunger strike for two months, were reported earlier to have refused the deal and demanded an immediate end of their administrative detention.
However, PPC attorney Jawad Boulos said the five prisoners have accepted the deal and agreed to end their strike after meeting with members of the prisoners’ negotiating leadership.
Halahleh’s father said the prisoners agreed to end their hunger strike in return for Israel not renewing their administrative detention after they complete their present detention period.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Arabic media spokesman, Ofir Gendelman, said, “It is our hope that this gesture by Israel will serve to build confidence between the parties and further peace.”
Gendelman said that Israel decided to release the remains of 100 Palestinians, which have been held by the Israeli authorities since 1967 and buried in unknown cemeteries in Israel.
Khader Adnan, a Palestinian prisoner who was released almost a month ago after 66 days of hunger strike, was the spark behind one of the longest hunger strikes in history followed by prisoner Hana Shalabi who went on a hunger strike for 44 days before she agreed to end her strike in return for releasing her to Gaza for three years. Both Adnan and Shalabi are from the Jenin area.