Deal reached to free Hana Shalabi (incl update)

Maan News Agency | March 29, 2012

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A deal to release Palestinian hunger-striker Hana Shalabi to the Gaza Strip temporarily was reached late Thursday, officials with knowledge of the negotiations told Ma’an.

The officials say Shalabi will be sent to Gaza for three years in exchange for giving up a 43-day strike against Israel’s policy of holding detainees without charge.

The Palestinian prisoners society confirmed the deal in a statement praising Shalabi’s resolve. It expressed its appreciation for her efforts to bring attention to Israel’s policies toward prisoners.

Qadoura Fares of the prisoners society said Shalabi agreed to the deal “in return for ending her strike and being freed. … We reject deportation, but this is her decision and her own life,” Fares said.

Shalabi’s lawyer, Jawwad Boulous, also confirmed the agreement.

According to a high-ranking Palestinian source, the deal was reached after Palestinian officials and the International Committee of the Red Cross intervened to confirm that Shalabi approved.

An Israeli official said: “I am aware there were negotiations of that sort.” The official did not immediately elaborate, Reuters reported.

Israel had previously held Shalabi for 25 months but released her in October under a prisoner swap with Hamas, which controls Gaza.

Israeli authorities say Shalabi remains an active member of Islamic Jihad, but her father, Yehia, said that since the exchange his daughter had not been active in the group.

An Islamic Jihad spokesman, Daoud Shihab, denied knowledge of the deal. If it exists, he said, the agreement would have been made without his group’s involvement as it rejects deportation.

Israel struck a deal last month with Khader Adnan, an Islamic Jihad member, persuading him to end his 66-day strike after assuring him that he would be released in April from his detention without trial.

Human rights groups have condemned Israel’s detention without trial of some 300 Palestinians.

Reuters contributed to this report.


Addameer, PHRI won’t confirm Hana Shalabi ends hunger strike, warn of coercion in banishment deal

Just after 2AM Palestine local time, or around 7PM US East Coast time, Addameer, the Palestinian prisoner’s rights group, issued this important statement via Facebook regarding Hana al-Shalabi, the Palestinian prisoner who has been on hunger strike for more than 40 days against her detention without charge or trial by Israel.

The statement followed reports by Ma’an News Agency, the BBC and other outlets, that Shalabi had ended her hunger strike as part of a deal which would see her banished from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip for three years.

The Arabic statement is rush-translated by The Electronic Intifada:

Addameer and Physicians for Human Rights cannot confirm end of Hana Shalabi’s hunger strike

Regarding what has appeared in the media this evening regarding the prisoner Hana Shalabi ending her hunger strike on its 43rd day, Addameer and Phyisicians for Human Rights – Israel [PHRI] cannot confirm this news as of this moment, given that Addameer’s attorney was prevented from visiting her today, just as physicians were prevented from visiting her yesterday. She is also forbidden from receiving family visits.

Addameer and PHRI, first and foremost, are gravely concerned over the health of Shalabi, and are afraid that her critical health condition and the danger to her life were causes of pressure and threat to accept the only choice which was banishment to the Gaza Strip.

Addameer and PHRI oppose this kind of compulsory banishment, which is not only against international law, and is mentioned clearly in the Fourth Geneva Convention, but is also a long-standing part of Israel’s policy which it has come to rely on – to make deals with Palestinians that result in banishing them from their homes and families.

Addameer and PHRI are working to obtain confirmation regarding the condition of Shalabi and they will release a more complete analysis of the day’s events soon, and they call on media to exercise caution and and to verify information before publishing it.

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We will not let you down Khader Adnan! – Photos & Action Alert
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Child Arrests – Topic
All posts about Torture – Category

Hunger Strikers, Risks for Health & Life

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