Hana Shalabi, a Palestinian woman on hunger strike for 43 days in protest against her detention without charges by Israel, has ended her fast under a deal that will see her deported to Gaza.
“Hana Shalabi agreed to end her hunger strike following an agreement with Israeli authorities under which she will be exiled to the Gaza Strip,” Issa Qaraqaa, Palestinian prisoner affairs minister, told AFP news agency on Thursday.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, which tracks detainees in Israeli jails, said Shalabi, a 30-year-old from the West Bank, would have to stay for three years in Gaza.
“She had to accept because Israel put pressure on her. But we are totally opposed to all deportation measures,” said the minister.
Jawwad Boulous, Shalabi’s lawyer, said he did not know when the deal might be implemented given her deteriorating health.
Confirming the agreement, Israel’s military said Shalabi would be deported to Gaza “in the next few days” and that she had promised “to avoid any involvement in terror activity”.
The Israeli army has described Shalabi as a “global jihad-affiliated operative” who was re-arrested on suspicion that she “posed a threat to the area.” But no charges were filed.
She had been on hunger strike since her detention on February 16, to protest both her detention without charge and violence she says was inflicted during her arrest.
Last week, rights group Amnesty International urged Israel to prosecute or free Shalabi, saying she was “at risk of death”.
She was hospitalised on March 19, after 33 days without food, with doctors saying she had lost 14 kg and her pulse was “feeble”.
Israel had previously held Shalabi for 25 months but released her in October last year under a prisoner swap deal with the Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza.
She was among more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners released in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held by Gaza-based groups for more than five years.
Shalabi is one of about 300 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails under administrative detention orders, which allow a court to order an individual to be detained for renewable periods of up to six months at a time.
Her action followed a hunger strike undertaken by another Palestinian prisoner, Khader Adnan, who also protested his detention.
Adnan refused food for 66 days, only agreeing to end his hunger strike after a deal was struck ensuring he would be released at the end of his four-month term.
In the wake of his hunger strike, dozens more Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launched similar protests, according to Palestinian and Israeli officials.