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Mikdad Al-Qawasmi Ends 113-Day Hunger Strike

A Palestinian prisoner ended a 113-day hunger strike on Thursday after Israeli occupation agreed not to extend his detention without trial beyond February, Palestinian officials said.

Miqdad al-Qawasmi’s mother voiced concern for his life earlier this week after his condition deteriorated. The officials said he refused food during the protest but drank water with salt and was given vitamins and medication.

Qawasmi’s weight had nearly halved since July, his family said.

“An agreement has been reached to release the hero prisoner Miqdad al-Qawasmi next February,” said Nahid Fakhouri, director of the Palestinian Prisoners Media office.

“He ended his hunger strike and can begin to eat again, depending on what doctors … allow him to eat according to his health condition.”

Another Palestinian official from the Palestinian Prisoner Association said the February release would coincide with the end of Qawasmi’s administrative detention, which would not be renewed.

An Israeli Prisons Authority spokeswoman confirmed that Qawasmi, who was arrested in January, had ended his strike but had no further information.

Five other Palestinians detained without trial are also on hunger strike, Palestinian officials said.

Israeli occupation authorities usually hold Palestinians it regards as ‘suspects’ for up to 60 days without charge and extend that period with court approval.

The United Nations and European Union have criticized the practice.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem hailed the deal as a victory.

There are some 500 Palestinians held in Israeli jails under administrative detention, Palestinian officials say.

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