Palestinian prisoner sent to hospital

Feb. 28, 2013 at 6:51 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Samer Issawi, a Palestinian prisoner on a hunger strike, was transferred to a hospital after his condition deteriorated, Israeli prison authorities said.

Issawi has been on a hunger strike for more than 200 days, said. Ayman Sharawna, a second hunger-striking prisoner, was hospitalized last week in Israel. Two other Palestinians in Israeli jails said they would halt their hunger strike.

Sivan Weizman, a spokeswoman of Israel Prison Service, told the Ma'an News Agency the decision to transfer Issawi to a hospital was for his benefit.

"He's been on a hunger strike for a long time and medical staff at the I.P.S. decided to move him. It's better that he be in [a] hospital," she said, adding Issawi's condition was listed as stable.

Issawi was one of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners set free by Israel in a deal to secure the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in October 2011. At the time, he was serving a long sentence for terrorist activities. He was recently arrested after he violated his parole conditions and was sentenced to eight months in prison, Ynetnews,com said.

In recent weeks, the situation of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails led to violent demonstrations in the West Bank between Palestinians and Israeli security forces.

The situation escalated after the death of Arafat Jaradat, a Palestinian prisoner who died suddenly in his jail cell last weekend. Israel said his death was caused by an apparent heart attack. His family has disputed the finding.

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