A HUNGER STRIKE by approximately 2,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails has come to an end after a deal, brokered by Egypt and Jordan, was reached late on Monday.
Israel has agreed to better conditions for detainees – agreeing to end solitary confinement for all prisoners, allowing prisoners more visiting rights, as well as greater access to television and telephone calls.
While Israel did not agree to end the practise of detaining suspects without charge or trial, it was agreed that such prisoners’ detention terms would not be renewed without fresh information being brought before a military judge, the Guardian reports.
In return, prisoners’ leaders have signed an agreement to “completely halt terrorist activity inside Israeli prisons”, according to Israeli security agency Shin Bet. If the terms of the agreement are broken, Israel will cancel its commitment to ease restrictions, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Most of the hunger strikers had been refusing food for a month, but three had refused to eat for more than 70 days in their attempts to secure better conditions for prisoners.
The deal has been warmly welcomed internationally by the EU, US, UN and Russia, after reports of increasing concern over the potential ramifications that would shake the region in the event of a striker’s death.
Separately, Israel also agreed to hand over to the Palestinian Authority the remains of 100 militants who had been killed while perpetrating anti-Israel attacks, reports AFP.