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Israel to Release Palestinian After 66-Day Hunger Strike

- Common Dreams staff

Khader Adnan, a Palestinian baker, who has been detained without charge by Israeli authorities since last year and has been on a hunger strike for over 65 days will be released, according to one of is lawyers and various media outlets.

Adnan said that his hands were shackled behind him and that he was thrown on the floor of a military jeep. Reports suggest the 33 year old baker will be released. (Reuters) According to The Telegraph/UK:

Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan has ended his 66-day hunger strike, the longest carried out by any Palestinian prisoner, after Israel agreed to set him free on April 17.

Mr Adnan has refused food since December 18, one day after he was detained without charge. He had lost more than 40 per cent of his body weight over the past nine weeks.

Mr Adnan's wife, Randa Mussa hailed the deal as a "victory" for her husband. "He forced the occupation to give in to his demands and I hope he returns safe to us," she said.

"The Israeli court decided to release Khader Adnan on April 17 and based on that he ended his hunger strike," Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqaa said.

And an Al-Jazeera report this morning confirms the Adnan's release, citing one of his lawyers:

The revelation came hours before the supreme court was to hear an urgent appeal on Tuesday for Adnan's release.

The lawyer said that a settlement had been reached for ending his detention.

The continued 'administrative detention' of the Palestinian from the West Bank had stroked global anger with protesters clashing again with police in the West Bank on Tuesday. 

Israel arrested Adnan, a 33-year-old baker, on December 17 near the northern West Bank town of Jenin. Israel accuses him of being a spokesman for the Palestinian group, Islamic Jihad.

He told lawyers and human rights organisations that masked soldiers violently broke into his house, where his mother and children were present.

Adnan said that his hands were shackled behind him and that he was thrown onto the floor of the military jeep and kicked and slapped by soldiers while they took him to the settlement of Mevo Dotan.

He began refusing food a day after his arrest and is now said to be in critical condition.

Earlier, Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, urged world leaders to pressure Israel to free Adnan.

"I sent messages to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton today, and spoke with the EU and Chinese envoys," Erakat told AFP news agency.

"I asked them all to intervene in Adnan's case. They must apply pressure on Israel to release him," he said.

And Haaretz in Israel reports that Adnan will not be released immediately, but the agreement includes plans for his release in approximately two months:

According to a Justice Ministry statement, the state will not request to extend Adnan's administrative detention, which is due to end on April 17.

Adnan, who is hospitalized in Ziv Hospital in Safed, announced that he will be ending his hunger strike. Since an agreement was reached, there will not be a hearing at the Supreme Court.

Adnan continued his hunger strike longer than any Palestinian detainee before him. His doctors warned this week that the 33-year-old might die soon.

The hunger strike has transformed Adnan into a Palestinian hero, with thousands protesting in support of the once obscure bearded baker.

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