Palestinian sent to Gaza with end of hunger strike

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GAZA CITY: Israel expelled a Palestinian prisoner Sunday to the Gaza Strip as part of a compromise deal that persuaded her to end her 43-day hunger strike.

Under the terms of her release, Hana Shalabi, a 30-year-old Islamic Jihad supporter from the West Bank, must remain in the seaside strip for the next three years.

Shalabi went on hunger strike to protest Israel’s policy of “administrative detention,” under which it holds some Palestinian prisoners for months — even years — without charges.

Shalabi launched the strike after being placed in administrative detention on Feb. 16. She ended it on Thursday.

The Israeli prison authority said she was in custody for unspecified terror activity.

Shalabi was initially released last year in a prisoner swap that freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit from captivity in Gaza in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. She was re-arrested after returning to terrorist activity, Israel said.

Shalabi was greeted in Gaza by dozens of Islamic Jihad supporters who hoisted posters with her picture. Islamic Jihad said the welcome was subdued because they said her expulsion was a “war crime.”

“My feeling of freedom is mixed with pain because I am leaving my family and town,” Shalabi told the local Al-Quds radio station. “God willing, we will gain freedom, and all prisoners will be free.”

She was set to meet later with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and a Hamas government delegation.



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