Striking Deal With Israel, Palestinian Prisoners Will End Hunger Strike
Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners agreed to end a hunger strike, today. In exchange, Israel agreed to end solitary confinement for the detainees.
NPR's Lourdes Garcia Navarro filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Some of the hunger strikers have not been eating for more than 70 days, making this the longest hunger strike ever by Palestinians and certainly the largest.
"At least 1,200 Palestinians have participated in the protest and it's had an effect. The deal signed at an Israeli prison will see increased family visitations rights for prisoners from the Gaza strip and the end to solitary confinement. Among the initial demands were an end to the use of administrative detention in which palestinian prisoners can be held indefinitely without charge. Israel will continue the controversial practice. Apart from helping to end the srike and improve the lives of palestinian prisoners, The deal, say activists, shows that the Palestinian push towards non-violent resistance is having an effect."
The New York Times reports that Israel's internal security agency said they agreed to the deal after prisoners said the would "completely halt terrorist activity inside Israeli prisons," and "refrain from all activity that constitutes practical support for terrorism, including recruiting people for terrorist activity, guidance, financing, coordinating among recruits, aiding recruits."
Israel, reports the Times, also agreed to resume family visits for prisoners from Gaza.
The Christian Science Monitor adds that the deal was mediated by Egypt, which also mediated the prisoner swap that freed Sgt. Gilad Shalit.