Palestinian hunger-striker to be exiled to Gaza Strip

AFP , Sunday 17 Mar 2013

Ayman Sharawna, on hunger strike since mid-July to protest his detention by Israeli authorities, will be released to besieged Gaza Strip where he must remain for ten-year period

A Palestinian prisoner on long-term hunger strike has inked a deal with Israel which will see him freed to exile in Gaza for ten years, a prisoners' rights group said Sunday.

"Palestinian prisoner Ayman Sharawna, who has been on hunger strike since mid-July, has reached a deal with the Israeli side under which he will be released to Gaza and exiled there for ten years," Qadura Fares, head of the Ramallah-based Prisoners' Club, told AFP.

A spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons Service confirmed the deal, saying Sharawna would be released on Sunday.

"He will be released in a few hours," she told AFP.

Sharawna is a 36-year-old prisoner who has been intermittently refusing food for more than seven months.

He was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 38 years behind bars, but released in October 2011 under terms of a prisoner swap deal.

He was rearrested three months later, however, and charged with violating the terms of his release, although the evidence against him was kept secret.

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