Palestinians may soon free hunger striker

Sept. 20, 2012 at 10:56 AM

JERICHO, Gaza, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A former militant turned cultural activist will end his hunger strike after Palestinian authorities promised to release him from jail, friends say.

Zakarya Zubeidi has been detained since May and began his hunger strike Sept. 9, Haaretz reported Thursday.

In an agreement reached Wednesday, Zubeidi will end his hunger strike in exchange for the Palestinian Authority moving up by 12 days deliberations on his arrest, said his colleagues from the Freedom Theater. Those deliberations are now set for Sunday, and he could be released afterward.

Zubeidi was jailed on May 5 in mass arrests following the death of former Jenin Gov. Kadura Musa, who died of a fatal heart attack shortly after armed attackers opened fire on his home.

Most of those arrested have already been released. Zubeidi has remained in detention even though his investigation has ended.

Formerly a top commander in the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Zubeidi turned to "cultural resistance" in 2006 after the PA and Israel signed an agreement removing gunmen from Israel's list of wanted militants who agreed to stop armed attacks.

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