Prisoners Safadi, al-Barq end months of hunger strike
Published Sunday 23/09/2012 (updated) 28/09/2012 13:52
People hold posters supporting hunger-striking prisoners in Rafah, in the
southern Gaza Strip. (Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa, File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jail have halted their long-term hunger strikes expecting upcoming release, officials from the Palestinian prisoners society and Israeli prison officials said Sunday.
Society lawyer Jawad Bulus said he visited Samir al-Barq and Hasan Safadi, and they are both beginning to take food. Israeli Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman confirmed the two prisoners had ended their strike.
Samir al-Barq has spent 125 days on hunger strike. He remains in Israeli civilian hospital Assaf Harofeh and will soon be transferred to Ramle prison clinic, Bulus said.
Al-Barq ended his strike after learning Egypt and Israel had agreed he would be transferred from jail into exile in Egypt, Bulus said.
PA prisoners minister Issa Qaraqe said al-Barq would be freed within hours on Thursday, but Israeli prison spokeswoman Sivan Weizman denied his release was imminent.
Head of the prisoners society Qaddura Fares said both Israel and Egypt claim they are waiting for the other side to confirm the final date and transit point in order to carry the deal through.
Al-Barq told Bulus if he is not freed to Egypt shortly he will resume his hunger strike and additionally refuse to take any liquids.
Another hunger-striker, Hassan Safadi, has been returned to Ramle prison clinic after he ended his strike due to Israel's assurance he will be freed at the end of his current administrative detention term on Oct. 29, Bulus said.
Safadi has been on hunger strike for 95 days, and on Thursday prisoners group Addameer said he had refused to drink water for three days.
The Prisoners Society has also appealed to the Israeli High Court asking for Safadi to be released immediately.
Fares said two Palestinians remain on long-term hunger strike, Ayman Sharawna who has refused food since July 1 and Samer Issawi, on strike since Aug. 1.
A lawyer who visited them on Sunday found the hunger-strikers in a poor state of health.