Israeli military court approves Issawi deal

RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — An Israeli military jury on Thursday approved a deal to release Samer Issawi, who ended a 266-day hunger strike after reaching the agreement with Israeli military prosecutors.

At Ofer military court, the military jury expressed disappointment with the “very lenient” deal but accepted it, Issawi’s lawyer Jawad Bolous said.

Issawi, who appeared in court, “looked skinny, but it was clear his health was improving,” Bolous added.

Issawi ended a nine-month hunger strike on April 23 after Israeli authorities agreed to release him eight months later.

He is being held in Ramle prison and will be released on Dec. 23.

Issawi went on hunger strike after Israeli forces arrested him and accused him of violating the terms of his amnesty under an October 2011 prisoner swap.

Under the agreement signed at Kaplan Medical Center in April, Issawi will be freed to his hometown Issawiya in East Jerusalem. He had rejected several earlier proposals to deport him.

Issawi, 33, was first arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 26 years for military activities on behalf of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

He was granted amnesty in the October 2011 prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas, but was rearrested on July 7 and accused of violating his release terms by leaving East Jerusalem and entering the West Bank.

(Source / 09.05.2013)

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