Israel 'agrees to release' Palestinian hunger-striker Maher al-Akhras

Israel 'agrees to release' Palestinian prisoner Maher al-Akhras after 103-day hunger strike
2 min read
06 November, 2020
Prisoner Maher al-Akhras will remain in hospital amid concerns over his deteriorated health condition.
Akhras ended his hunger strike after 103 days, his wife said [Getty]
Palestinian political prisoner Maher al-Akhras has said he will cease his months-long hunger strike after Israeli authorities agreed to release him at the end of the month.

Akhras, 49, will suspend his hunger strike after 103 days pending his release from prison on November 26, Qaddoura Fares, the president of the Palestinian Prisoners' Club said on Friday.

Akhras will be kept in hospital for the remainder of his sentence, Fares told a local radio station, adding that Israeli authorities had agreed not to renew his administrative detention order, which is due to expire later this month.

Speaking to AFP, Al-Akhras's wife Taghrid confirmed the decision but said she was still "concerned" due to his severe medical condition.

A spokesperson for Israel's Shin Bet security agency refused to confirm any such agreement with Akhras or his lawyers.

Rights groups and a UN official had recently warned the Palestinian prisoner was nearing death and urged his immediate release by Israeli authorities.

Akhras was arrested in July this year and has since been detained without charge. He went on hunger strike in protest against Israel's policy of administration detention, which allows it to hold Palestinian detainees indefinitely without charge.

Israel says the procedure allows authorities to hold suspects and prevent attacks while continuing to gather evidence, but critics and rights groups say the system is being abused.

There are currently 350 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons without charge, the Palestinian Commission of Detainees Affairs said earlier this week. Three of them have been on hunger strike in solidarity with Akhras.

Israel says it suspects Akhras, a father of six, of ties to Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad. 

Agencies contributed to this report

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