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Palestinian prisoner ends hunger strike after expulsion deal

(Xinhua)

09:28, March 30, 2012

RAMALLAH, March 29 (Xinhua) -- A Palestinian prisoner suspended her hunger strike after 43 days upon a deal to be expelled for three years to Gaza, Palestinian sources said Thursday evening.

Hana Shalabi, a woman from the West Bank, agreed personally to the Israeli offer of temporary expulsion, the sources added.

Palestinian officials and representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) helped forge the deal, according to the sources.

But Eissa Qaraeq', Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs, slammed Israel for "extorting, beating and using Shalabi's health conditions to force her to stop her strike."

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) rejects the policy of expulsion "because it is illegal and illegitimate," he told Wafa, the official Palestinian news agency, praising Shalabi's "national attitude."

The Islamic Jihad movement, to which Shalabi belongs, denied knowledge of any details about the deal.

Shalabi was arrested in February, roughly three months after she was freed with hundreds of others under a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and the Gaza-based Islamic Hamas movement.

She demanded an end to her administrative detention where prisoners can kept for years without trial.

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