Palestinian and Israeli officials are seeking a compromise to end the hunger strike of a Palestinian prisoner whose on-off fast has lasted more than 250 days and stoked weeks of street protests.
Samer al-Issawi, a 32-year-old from an Arab suburb of Jerusalem, is receiving some nutrients via an intravenous drip but refusing food. His lawyer says his low heart rate means he could die at any time.
Moved from jail to an Israeli civilian hospital and under guard, an emaciated and bed-ridden Issawi has been approached in recent days by Israeli negotiators. Both Palestinian and Israeli officials hope to pre-empt the violence his death could provoke.
Israel has asked Issawi to stop his fast in exchange for commuting his decades-long sentence to one year behind bars, a Palestinian official told Reuters on Wednesday.
Issawi said he would accept only if the year-long term were backdated to the date of his arrest last July, according to Qadura Fares, head of the Palestinian prisoner organization.
“We don’t want to see this man commit suicide,” an Israeli official told Reuters. “There are elements on the Palestinian side who are eager to exploit a tragedy.”
Two Palestinian prisoners died in Israeli jails this year, raising the total number of Palestinians to have died in Israeli prison since 1948 to 207, a Palestinian official said.
Nine prisoners from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Leftist faction to which Issawi belongs, announced on Wednesday an open-ended fast until he is freed.
“Prisoner Day,” an annual commemoration of Palestinian prisoners, who currently number 4,800, was held on Wednesday, with Israeli security forces on standby for possible protests.
نستخدم ملفات الكوكيز لنسهل عليك استخدام مواقعنا الإلكترونية ونكيف المحتوى والإعلانات وفقا لمتطلباتك واحتياجاتك الخاصة، لتوفير ميزات وسائل التواصل الاجتماعية ولتحليل حركة المرور لدينا...اعرف أكثر