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Welcome to Palestine Today, a service of the International Middle East Media Center, www.imemc.org, for Tuesday February 21th, 2012.
Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan agreed to end his 66-day hunger strike to protest his imprisonment without charge after reaching a deal with Israel that will free him in April These stories and more, coming up, so stay tuned.
An agreement ended a tense standoff that left 33-year-old Adnan clinging to life and drew international attention to a controversial Israeli policy of holding Palestinian without charge. The hunger strike also turned Adnan, a member of the Islamic Jihad group, into a hero for Palestinians.
Under the deal struck with military prosecutors, Adnan agreed to resume eating immediately. A statement by the Israeli justice ministry said that if ‘no new additional substantial evidence’ emerges against Adnan, he will be released on April 17.
That means his four-month detention order will be counted from the day he was kidnapped, not the day the order was issued several weeks later. The deal also suggests that military prosecutors will not seek extensions, which can often be used to prolongue administrative detentions.
Adnan started his hunger strike one day after being kidnapped from his house on December 17, 2011.
Several cities and towns in the West Bank rallied during the past two weeks in support of Adnan who became a symbol for the Palestinians.
On the trial day, several West Bank communities organzied protests demanding Israel to release Adnan immediately, during which a number of residents were wounded and arrested.
Dozens protestors were wounded in the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron when clashes erupted between them and Israeli troops who attempted to stop the demonstration by firing dozens of tear gas at them. Palestinian medical sources said that dozens were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation. One journalist was hit with a tear gas canister in his leg.
In a related incident, 19 protestors were wounded with metal bullets and tear gas and two others were arrested in the demonstration organized in front of the Ofer jail near Ramallah.
Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets and sprayed the demonstrators with chemical water.
Clashes also erupted between students from Bethlehem University and Israeli soldiers who fired several rounds of rubber-coated steel bullets at stone-throwing students, near the annexation wall adjacent to the Rachel Tomb site at the northern entrance of Bethlehem. No injuries were reported, as the protest ended when the Palestinian security forces intervened.
In the Gaza Strip, Palestinian security sources said that an undercover force of the Israeli military entered into the Rafah area in the southern part of the strip and kidnapped three Palestinians. The identity of the kidnapped three remains unkown.
That’s all for today from the IMEMC News, this was the Tuesday February 21th daily roundup of news from the Occupied Palestinian Territories. with a special focus on the prisoner Khader Adnan who ended his hunger strike after 66 days This has been brought to you by Husam Qassis and me, George Rishmawi.