Israeli authorities have released Monday evening (23rd December) the Jerusalemite prisoner, Samer Issawi, who engaged in one of the longest hunger strikes in history after spending more than 11 years inside Israeli jails.Issawi has been released as part of an agreement in which he ended a 266-day hunger strike in April, this year, afterwhich he became an international hero and brought the world’s attention to the plight of the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees in Israeli jails.
Prior to reaching the agreement which secured his pending release, Israeli authorities offered him a number of agreements that involved deportation to Gaza, a reduced prison term, and deportation to Europe. Issawi, however, refused until Israel relented and allowed him to return to his Jerusalem home, after serving eight more months.
Samer was first arrested by Israeli occupation forces during the Second Intifada, but was among hundreds of prisoners released in 2011 as part of a deal to release Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The release agreement confined him to Jerusalem, but he was re-arrested in July 2012 after traveling to a village which is located mostly in Jerusalem, but also partially in the West Bank.
He subsequently launched a hunger strike against the renewed detention, and only concluded the strike after Israel agreed to release him.
UFree Network congratulates Samer Issawi on this historic victory and wishes him a fruitful life amongst his family and friends.
UFree Network | An independent European-wide human rights network, set up to defend the rights of Palestinian political prisoners and detainees.