Israel has reached a deal with a Palestinian Authority Arab terrorist prisoner who has been on a long-term hunger strike, officials in the PA said on Monday night.
The terrorist, Samer Issawi, has reportedly agreed to end an on-off hunger strike which lasted for more than eight months in exchange for an early release, the officials told Reuters.
Issawi agreed to a deal brokered by Israeli and PA officials to serve eight months for violating bail conditions, after which he will be freed to his Jerusalem home, according to Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian prisoner organization.
Issawi’s attorney told Kol Yisrael radio on Monday night that the agreement with his client had been signed in principle and would be brought to the Ofer Military Court for approval on Tuesday. An official Israeli source has yet to confirm the reports.
Issawi was first arrested in 2002 and sentenced to 26 years for terrorist activity. He was released in the Shalit deal in October 2011, but rearrested in July for violating the terms of the release agreement.
Israel has ordered that he serve the remainder of his original sentence.
Israel has said it was willing to deport Issawi to any EU member country or any UN member country, but an EU spokesman had claimed that "Israel has not formally approached the EU on this subject."
Issawi is the last of four Palestinian Authority Arab terrorist prisoners who were on extended hunger strikes in Israeli prisons, after two ended their fast in February and a third was exiled to Gaza for 10 years.
Palestinian Authority Arab terrorist prisoners have turned hunger striking into a pressure tactic aimed at forcing Israel to release them out of fear for their lives. Israel has several times in the past caved to the pressure and released some hunger strikers.
Earlier on Monday, Issawi told an Israeli judge that he will not take liquids and will boycott future court sessions at a hearing in Kaplan Medical Center, where he has been hospitalized after his health deteriorated.
"I was sentenced by a Jerusalem court to eight months which ended in March, so I don't see any reason to be detained. Your detention is malicious and I don't recognize your committee, nor the procedures you take against me," Issawi told the judge, according to a report in the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency.
Issawi's doctor reportedly told the court that medics were very concerned as the prisoner has stopped taking vitamins and supplements and refuses to undergo any medical tests.
The judge asked the doctor why Issawi was not being forced to eat, to which the doctor replied, "This would be inhumane, and as doctors we ethically can't do it."