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Palestinian prisoner suspends hunger strike after 55 days

May 26, 2016 3:19 P.M. (Updated: May 26, 2016 7:11 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Palestinian prisoner Fouad Assi suspended his hunger strike on Thursday after reaching an agreement with the Israeli military prosecution, a lawyer said.

Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs lawyer Ashraf Abu Snineh said that the Israeli prosecution had agreed to not extend Assi’s ongoing administrative detention -- internment without trial or charges -- beyond four months, and to allow the prisoner to call his wife and family.

Abu Snineh said that Assi was in critical condition after more than 55 days on hunger strike, during which he refused to take vitamins and lost more than 20 kilograms.

Assi, a resident of the occupied West Bank town of Beit Liqya near Ramallah, was detained by Israeli forces in September and started his hunger strike on April 3rd to protest his administrative detention.

He is currently being detained and treated in the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.

Assi had previously spent four and a half years in Israeli prisons.

A number of Palestinian prisoners have staged hunger strikes in past months to protest their administrative detention.

Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq earlier this year came close to death during a more than 90-day strike against his detention, during which Israeli medics were accused of forcing treatment on the prisoner.

Under administrative detention, Palestinians are not granted the right to defend themselves in a fair trial, and are not informed of any evidence which could justify their detentions.

According to prisoners' rights group Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli prisons as of April, 750 of whom were in administrative detention.
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