Avi Issacharoff, The Times of Israel's Middle East analyst, fills the same role for Walla, the leading portal in Israel. He is also a guest commentator on many different radio shows and current affairs programs on television. Until 2012, he was a reporter and commentator on Arab affairs for the Haaretz newspaper. He also lectures on modern Palestinian history at Tel Aviv University, and is currently writing a script for an action-drama series for the Israeli satellite Television "YES." Born in Jerusalem, he graduated cum laude from Ben Gurion University with a B.A. in Middle Eastern studies and then earned his M.A. from Tel Aviv University on the same subject, also cum laude. A fluent Arabic speaker, Avi was the Middle East Affairs correspondent for Israeli Public Radio covering the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the war in Iraq and the Arab countries between the years 2003-2006. Avi directed and edited short documentary films on Israeli television programs dealing with the Middle East. In 2002 he won the "best reporter" award for the "Israel Radio” for his coverage of the second intifada. In 2004, together with Amos Harel, he wrote "The Seventh War - How we won and why we lost the war with the Palestinians." A year later the book won an award from the Institute for Strategic Studies for containing the best research on security affairs in Israel. In 2008, Issacharoff and Harel published their second book, entitled "34 Days - The Story of the Second Lebanon War," which won the same prize.
File: Palestinian girls from summer camps attend a protest calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, in front of the International Red Cross, Gaza City, the northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. (AP/Adel Hana)
Three senior Hamas members who are imprisoned in Israeli jails ended their hunger strike and resumed eating, The Times of Israel has learned.
The prisoners, Hassan Salameh, Abbas al-Sayed and Mahmud Shreitach, are all serving out life sentences over their involvement in deadly attacks against Israeli civilians.
They are currently considered the most senior Hamas figures in prison.
The hunger strike by 85 Palestinian prisoners has endured seven weeks, although one prisoner has already been going over 100 days without food.
At least 65 of 290 participating detainees have been hospitalized since the first group began the hunger strike on April 24. Many are administrative detainees, held for months or years without charges.
They are protesting in solidarity with others who have been imprisoned without trial.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the issue Thursday, and said that the PA was in contact with various international bodies to ensure that the prisoners’ health is maintained.
During his speech in Ramallah, Abbas said that the condition of the strikers had become a critical situation in because, he charged, Israeli authorities were ignoring the prisoners’s justifiable requests.
The Knesset passed this week the first reading of a bill that would permit — with a judge’s approval — the force-feeding of prisoners whose lives are in danger.
About 5,000 Palestinians are being held in Israeli prisons, nearly 200 of them under administrative detention orders which allow suspects to be imprisoned without trial for up to six months.