Middle East Monitor / January 15, 2020
Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Zahran has been released after spending 113 days on hunger strike in Israeli detention, the head of the Palestinian Commission of Prisoners and ex-Prisoners’ Affairs, Qadri Abu Bakr, announced yesterday.
“Following a 113-day hunger strike Zaher was able to reach an agreement with the Israeli prison administration in exchange for his release,” Abu Bakr, adding the commission’s lawyer Jawad Boulos was present during the deliberation.
Forty-two-year-old Zahran from Deir Abu-Mesh’al neighbourhood in the outskirts of occupied Ramallah was arrested in March. He is a married father of four who has spent a total of 15 years in Israeli jails.
This is his second strike against the his continued detention. He launched his first 39-day hunger strike in June last year and ended it after he was promised release, instead, the occupation authorities renewed his administrative detention for an additional four month.
Palestinian prisoners have repeatedly called for Israel to improve the conditions of their detention, however little has been done to take steps towards this. Medical treatment is often denied and the health conditions of detainees deteriorates while they are incarcerated.
There are more than 5,500 Palestinians languishing in Israeli prisons, including 52 women, 270 minors and six lawmakers, according to official data. Rights groups say that some 222 Palestinians have died in detention since 1967.