Palestinian hunger striker sentenced

Feb. 22, 2013 at 10:17 AM
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JERUSALEM, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Palestinian hunger-striker Samer Issawi was sentenced to eight months in prison for violating parole but he may be confined only until March, officials said.

Issawi was sentenced Thursday for trying to enter the West Bank in July 2012, a violation of his 2011 parole, Ahram Online reported.

He had been previously sentenced to 30 years in prison for his involvement in terror activities, but was released after nine years as part of a Egypt-brokered prisoner swap between Hamas and Israeli authorities in October 2011. A stipulation on his release was that he not enter the West Bank.

Issawi's new prison sentence is retroactive to July and he will probably be released in March, Ynetnews reported.

Since his arrest, Issawi has been on a hunger strike, along with several other Palestinian detainees in Israel.

Palestinians have been protesting Issawi's detainment during the past week.

"The protests ... were reminiscent of the first Intifada. If something happens to Issawi, I believe that the entire West Bank will erupt in a new, non-violent Intifada of the people," said Mustafa Barghouti, a Palestinian Parliament member and one of the leading organizers of protests in support of Issawi and other Palestinian administrative detainees.

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