Palestinian Prisoner Ends Hunger Strike in Deal with Israel

YERUSHALAYIM (AP) -

A Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for over 140 days to protest being imprisoned without charge agreed Tuesday to end his fast after reaching a deal with Israel to be released next month, his lawyer said.

Hisham Abu Hawash, a member of the Islamic Jihad group, is among several Palestinians who have gone on hunger strike to protest being held under “administrative detention,” a controversial measure Israel says is needed for security.

His lawyer, Jawad Boulos, said he agreed to end the hunger strike after Israel pledged to release him on Feb. 26. There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials.

Palestinians have protested in support of Abu Hawash, and Islamic Jihad had threatened military action against Israel if he died in custody. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim-majority states headquartered in Saudi Arabia, issued a rare statement expressing “grave concern” over his condition.

The Prisoners’ Club, which represents former and current Palestinian prisoners, hailed the strike as a victory. It said Abu Hawash had previously spent eight years in Israeli prisons, more than half of it in administrative detention.