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Israeli court rules to release Palestinian hunger-striking prisoner

May 23, 2016 8:22 P.M. (Updated: May 24, 2016 11:05 A.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- An Israeli court ruled to end the administrative detention of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner Sami Janazreh, the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said on Monday.

PPS senior lawyer Jawad Boulos said in a statement that a court hearing was held on Monday at the Ofer detention center for Janazreh, who has been on hunger strike almost continuously since early March to protest his administrative detention -- a widely-condemned Israeli policy that allows for internment without charge or trial for three- or six-month intervals which can be renewed indefinitely.

The Israeli military prosecution accused the 43-year-old resident of al-Fawwar refugee camp of “incitement” against Israel on his Facebook page, Boulos said. However, the court rejected the charges and ruled that Janazreh would be released next Monday.

Israeli Prison Services did not respond to Ma’an’s request for comment on Monday evening.

Earlier this month, Janazreh suspended his hunger strike for a week after 70 days of refusing food.

In recent months, Israel has detained scores of Palestinians for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by "incitement."

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.

More than 200 Palestinians and almost 30 Israelis have been killed since October, although the number of Palestinian and Israeli deaths saw a dramatic drop over the last two months, with Israeli leadership suggesting its severe security measures were responsible for the emerging trend.

However, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found in a poll last month that support for stabbing attacks had seen a decline in the West Bank in recent months -- "due, it seems, to a rising perception in its inefficacy."

According to prisoners’ organization Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians are detained in Israeli custody, 750 of whom are held in administrative detention.
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