Israel will release another Palestinian prisoner on a hunger strike today. The prisoner, Hisham Abu Hawwash, was held by Israeli
Israel will release another Palestinian prisoner on a hunger strike today.
The prisoner, Hisham Abu Hawwash, was held by Israeli authorities under administrative detention without charges or trial. To protest his detention, Hawwash undertook a 141-day hunger strike. Last month, a deal was reached between Hawwash’s lawyers and the Israeli authorities to end the strike in exchange for his release.
Israel, citing fears of terrorism, recently stepped up the use of administrative detention against Palestinian protestors. Prisoners can only be freed through legal petition as charges are not brought against them. It is estimated some 500 Palestinians are held in administrative detention. Hawwash’s case is rallying Palestinians across the West Bank to protest Israeli actions.
Expect today’s prisoner release to slightly decrease Israeli-Palestinian tensions in the short term. His survival and freedom mean Israel will most likely avoid any civil unrest that his death would have caused. Nonetheless, it is unlikely Israel will end the practice of administrative detention. Medium-term, this will most likely rouse Palestinians to violent resistance and bring ineffectual international condemnation. Should a prisoner die from hunger strikes—a serious possibility given their rising prevalence—expect major civil unrest and terrorist attacks on Israeli forces.
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