Updated: Refusing exile: Palestinian prisoner Samer Al-Issawi ending hunger strike in ‘victory’ deal

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Samer Al-Issawi

(Update below) After refusing food for more than 265 days legendary Palestinian Hunger Striker Samer Al-Issawi has struck a deal with Israeli military prosecutors described by his lawyer, Jawad Bulous, as “a big victory for Samer.” The news comes just one day after Al-Issawi told a military judge that he did not recognize the court’s authority at a hearing in the hospital on Monday, and refused to take part in any further legal proceedings against him. Today military prosecutors offered Al-Issawi, age 32, a deal that will allow him to return to his home in Jerusalem after 8 more months in prison.


Attorney Jawad Bulous said Israeli military prosecutors agreed on early Tuesday to release Issawi after he serves another eight months in prison, which would mean he would be released later this year. The lawyer said he expected the deal to be signed later in the day, after which Issawi will end his hunger strike…..

“No doubt, this is a big victory for Samer,” Bulous said. The hunger strike “forced the Israeli side to reverse their position.”

Reportedly, Al-Issawi stopped taking nutritional supplements last Sunday but resumed taking the supplements as of midnight Monday in the presence of his sister, Shireen, and his lawyer after they conveyed the offer at his hospital bedside.

It is significant that Issawi refused to be exiled and is being released to his hometown of Al-Issawiyeh, a village in the district of Jerusalem. Al-Issawi refused to stop his hunger strike, and be released and deported to Gaza.

Update: Palestinian News and Info Agency (WAFA) reports:

Boulus said the importance of this deal is that Issawi will not be convicted by an Israeli military committee to spend the remaining 20 years left in his sentence in prison…….

Boulus said the deal also includes an Israeli presidential amnesty, which means Issawi cannot be re-arrested and forced to serve the remaining 20 years of his former sentence.

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