Palestinian prisoner held by Israel ends hunger strike

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Palestinian prisoner held by Israel ends hunger strike

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Backed by grassroots support and human rights groups, a Palestinian held without trial by Israel has agreed to end a 66-day hunger strike after the Israelis promised to free him.

Khader Adnan, who is 33, has been refusing to eat since mid-December and doctors have been increasingly concerned by his deteriorating health.

His stance prompted a general strike in the West Bank as thousands rallied across the region in support of the prisoner.

Now Israel has said it will release him in April.

The Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the people’s conscience would not rest until all other prisoners were freed too.

Adnan has been held under a law dating back to the former British mandate of Palestine, which allows military authorities to hold a suspect for up to six months without charge – and renew the detention indefinitely.

Under the terms of his release the practice itself – much criticised by human rights groups and the EU – will not be examined by the Israeli courts.