NABLUS, Thursday, November 26, 2020 (WAFA) – After 103 days of hunger strike, Israel releases today Palestinian administrative detainee Maher al-Akhras, who arrived at hospital in this northern West Bank city for medical checkup before continuing to his hometown in Silat al-Dahr in the Jenin district, according to the Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS).
Akhras, 49, went on hunger strike on July 27 after he was slammed with a four-month administrative detention order, demanding his release from prison.
He refused to eat or drink for 103 days before Israel succumbed to his demand and agreed to release him after completing his detention period, which normally would have been extended indefinitely.
After several failed attempts at the Israeli High Court to secure his release or move him to a Palestinian hospital in the West Bank where he would stay until the end of his administrative detention and being kept at an Israeli hospital following serious deterioration in his health, Akhras lawyers finally got a court decision officially ending his administrative detention on November 26 after completing his four-month sentence.
At one point, the High Court suspended his sentence in order to get him to end his hunger strike, which he rejected and demanded a clear cut ruling ending his detention.
Administrative detention, which Israel inherited from the time of the pre-1948 British occupation of Palestine and which Israel uses freely to arrest Palestinian political activists and keep them in prison for indefinite periods of time without charge or trial and based on secret files not available even to the lawyers, is considered illegal under international law.
Israel currently holds over 350 Palestinians in administrative detention, some of them were able to secure their release only after going on hunger strike, as in the case of Maher al-Akhras.