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Egyptian intelligence agency issues statement on Palestinian hunger strikers deal: MENA

Egypt's general intelligence agency has helped facilitate a deal between Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike and Israeli authorities

Ahram Online , Monday 14 May 2012
Mourad Mowafi
Egypt's intelligence chief Mourad Mowafi
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Egypt's General Intelligence Apparatus issued a statement on Monday which included details about the Palestinian-Israeli deal to end a mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.

According to Egypt's state-owned Middle East News Agency (MENA), the Egyptian intelligence agency engaged with the Palestinian Authority, Palestinian factions and prisoner representatives, as well as the Israeli side, to reach a deal to end the strike and grant the prisoners' demands.

Several Palestinian prisoners began their hunger strikes in February, with dozens more joining in February.

Major points in the agreement reached include ending solitary confinement, allowing family visits from the West Bank and Gaza, and other demands regarding living conditions, reported MENA. Some prisoners have been in solitary confinement for over ten years, and others haven't seen or talked to their families in over five years.

The intelligence statement stressed the agency's steadfastness as regards the Palestinian cause, mentioning its efforts in the deal which led to the release of 1,027 prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in October, MENA said.

Egypt was criticised during ousted president Hosni Mubarak's era for complicity with Israel by closing its borders with Gaza and aiding the Israeli siege on the territory.

Opponents claimed that the Egyptian intelligence service was the primary tool of the Egyptian state in maintaining friendship with Israel.

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