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Israel: Palestinian prisoner ends hunger strike after 113 days

Miqdad al-Qawasmi has reached an agreement with Israeli authorities to end his hunger strike and to be released in February 2022
Miqdad al-Qawasmi gestures on the hospital bed following his ending of the hunger strike (Twitter\@ShehabAgency)

A Palestinian prisoner ended his 113-day hunger strike in an Israeli jail on Thursday and is now due to be released in February next year, according to the Palestinian Commission on Detainees' Affairs.

Miqdad al-Qawasmi, a 24-year-old from Hebron city in the southern occupied West Bank, started the strike in the summer to protest his administrative detention, a form of imprisonment without charge or trial imposed by Israel.

He has reportedly reached an agreement with the Israeli prison authorities to end his hunger strike and to be released in February 2022.

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Qawasmi was admitted to the intensive care unit at Kaplan Medical Centre in Rehovot following a severe deterioration in his health in October. Rights groups warned at the time that he was at risk of imminent death and called for his immediate release.

The university student has been arrested several times by Israel since 2015 and has spent four years in Israeli jails. He was last arrested in Hebron in January.

Administrative detention is a highly controversial policy, used almost exclusively against Palestinians. It allows for detention without charge or trial for renewable periods of three to six months, without the possibility of appeal or knowing what accusations are being levelled at the detained.

Many Palestinian prisoners have resorted to hunger strikes to protest the policy.

Kayed al-Fasfous, a 32-year-old from Dura village near Hebron, has been on a hunger strike for 120 days, also protesting against Israeli administrative detention. 

Other Palestinian prisoners who have recently launched hunger strikes against their administrative detentions include Alaa al-Araj and Hisham Abu Hawash, who have gone without food for 95 and 86 days respectively.

There are 4,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, 500 of them serving administrative detention.

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