Palestinian prisoner Maher Al-Akhras, who spent 103 days on hunger strike in protest against his administrative detention, was released by Israeli authorities today.
Forty-nine-year-old Al-Akhras, from the West Bank city of Jenin, launched the hunger strike after he was detained under an Israeli policy which allows authorities to hold detainees for renewable terms of six months without charge or trial.
He ended his hunger strike on 6 November after 103 days, with the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society confirming that this was in response to Israeli authorities agreeing to release him on 26 November.
This so precious and beautiful.
Maher being fed by his daughter.
He tells her thank you for feeding me after 104 days of hunger.
Maher went on hunger strike after being imprisoned by Israel without charge or trial. He will be released later this month. pic.twitter.com/bhCImeJcRg
— Salem Barahmeh (@Barahmeh) November 7, 2020
“The occupation authorities have released Maher al-Akhras, and preparations are underway to transfer him from the [Kaplan] Israeli Hospital to the [Najah National] Hospital in Nablus, in the northern West Bank,” Qadri Abu Bakr, head of the Prisoners Affairs Authority of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, told Anadolu Agency.
There are still around 5,000 Palestinians being held in Israeli jails, 350 of them under administrative detention.
Israeli officials claim that detention without trial is sometimes necessary to protect the identities of undercover operatives, however human rights groups have said it is used to hold even peaceful activists against the occupation.