Israel frees Palestinian prisoner who waged 103-day hunger strike

Israel released a Palestinian who waged a 103-day hunger strike to protest Israeli rules allowing his detention without charge, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Club says.

Maher al-Akhras, arrested over alleged membership of a terror group, was transferred from a Tel Aviv hospital to Nablus’s Al-Najah University Hospital in the West Bank, the prisoners’ rights group says in a statement.

A decision on releasing him to return home will follow “a medical assessment of his condition,” Al-Najah hospital medical director Abdul-Karim Al-Barqawi says.

Akhras, 49, was arrested near Nablus in July and put in administrative detention, a policy that Israel uses to hold suspected terrorists without charge.

Parliamentrians from the largely Arab Joint List bloc gather in Palestinian security detainee Maher al-Akhras’ room in Kaplan Hospital on Friday, November 6, 2020 to wish him well on the end of his hunger strike (Joint List spokesperson)

He is suspected of links to the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The father of six launched his fast to protest a four-month detention order, which had been due to end on November 26.

Akhras, who has been arrested by Israel several times previously, ended his hunger strike after Israeli authorities committed to not extending his detention beyond that date.

AFP, with TOI staff