After an ongoing 79 days of hunger-strike, Palestinian detainees Tha’er Halahla and Bilal Thiab signed an agreement with the Israeli Prison Authorities to end their hunger-strike in exchange for their release as they are being held without charges, the Maan News Agency reported.According to Maan News, Lawyer Jawad Boulos, Head of the Legal Unit at the Palestinian Prisoners Society (PPS), was present when detainee Tha’er signed the agreement at the Ramla Israeli Prison, adding Halahla will be released on June 5th.
The father of Halahla said that Tha’er phoned him shortly after midnight, informed him of the recent developments, and told him that he still has no information regarding the fate of the rest of the political prisoners held under administrative detention.
Furthermore, the brother of detainee Bilal Thiab said that a late-night agreement was reached between his brother and the Prison Administration. Also present when the agreement was signed were detainee Jamal Al-Hour, representative of Hamas on the Hunger-Strike Committee, detainee Bassam As-Sa’dy, and lawyer Boulos.
According to initial reports, detainee Bilal Thiab will be released on August 14, 2012.
Talking to his mother over phone, Thiab said that he grants this victory to the Palestinian People, adding that this agreement was reached after a series of meetings. He further stated that negotiations are still being held at the Ramla Prison to conclude all files of hunger-striking detainees.
Thousands of Palestinians are imprisoned by Israel, hundreds are currently being held under the illegal administrative detention polices that deprive them of their right to a trial and legal representation.
Such military detention orders are repeatedly renewed for different period of times, usually 3-6 months each time, while Israel does not present any charges against the detainees under the pretext of “having a secret file”, a file that defense attorneys never have access to.
The detainees’ demands include an end to solitary confinement polices (some detainees have been in solitary confinement for several years), an end to illegal administrative detention policies, visits to all detainees, especially Gaza Strip detainees, the right to education, an end to all violations against them and several other demands guaranteed by International Law .
It is worth mentioning that more than 200 Palestinian detainees have died in Israeli prisons since 1967 due to extreme torture and medical negligence at prisons and prison clinics. Some detainees were shot and killed by the arresting officers and others were shot by Israeli soldiers while in prison.