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Palestinian woman deported to Gaza after ending hunger strike

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Palestinian woman jailed in Israel who ended a 43-day hunger strike was deported to the Gaza Strip.

Hana Shalabi, a member of Islamic Jihad, agreed March 29 to end her hunger strike and be freed in exchange for spending the next three years in Gaza.

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency said Shalabi, 30, would not be allowed to see her parents and other relatives before crossing over to Gaza through the Erez crossing. Shalabi is from Jenin in the West Bank.

Shalabi launched the hunger strike to protest being held under administrative detention without charges. Human rights groups expressed concern for Shalabi’s life toward the end of her strike. 

A prisoner can be held in administrative detention without charges for up to four months; it can also be renewed.

Shalabi was the third Palestinian prisoner exchanged for captive soldier Gilad Shalit to be re-arrested. She served 25 months in administrative detention prior to being set free.

Shalabi was the second Palestinian to reach a deal with Israeli authorities to end a hunger strike. Khader Adnan ended his 66-day hunger strike in mid-February when Israeli prosecutors agreed that his administrative detention would not be renewed.

At least 23 other Palestinian political prisoners are on hunger strikes to protest the use of administrative detention as an indefinite form of detention without charge or trial, according to Physicians for Human Rights.

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