Israeli officials rip hunger strike deal

May 16, 2012 at 7:27 AM
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JERUSALEM, May 16 (UPI) -- An agreement to end a prisoner hunger strike struck between Israeli prison authorities and Palestinian prisoners was met with condemnation by Israeli lawmakers.

In the agreement, prisoner agreed to end their hunger strike in exchange for improved conditions.

Senior Hamas official Saleh Arouri, a member of the negotiating team, said Israel agreed to provide a list of accusations to administrative detainees or release them at the end of their term, among other things, Ma'an New Agency reported Wednesday. Israel also agreed to free solitary confinement detainees, lift a ban on family visits for prisoners from Gaza, and revoke the so-called Shalit law, which restricted prisoners' access to families and educational materials as punishment for the five-year captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Hamas-controlled Gaza. Shalit was released in October in a prisoner swap.

Israeli lawmaker Danny Danon criticized the deal Tuesday, calling it a "mistake" and a "prize for terrorism," The Jerusalem Post reported.

"We will end up paying for this mistake," Danon said on Israel Radio, adding the deal was "not worth the paper it is written on."

The Almagor Terror Victims Association also criticized the agreements, saying Israel yielded to terrorists' demands. The association also threatened to take legal action against the government.

Association director Meir Indor said in a release the agreement demonstrated the Israeli government and its prison organization were weak.

Indor also condemned the government for agreeing to release terrorists' bodies, saying they could be used by the Palestinian Authority as a rallying cry for terror.

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