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2 Palestinians in Israeli jail end hunger strike

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 28, 2013 at 9:04 am •  Published: February 28, 2013

JERUSALEM (AP) — Two Palestinian prisoners held by Israel have ended their hunger strike of nearly three months and two other hunger strikers have been hospitalized, an Israeli official said Thursday.

The prisoners who ended their fast did so because an Israeli military prosecutor told them that he would not seek to extend their detention at a hearing next week, said their lawyer, Jawad Boulous.

The two prisoners, Tarek Qaadan and Jafar Ezzeldeen, are being held without charges or trial, in so-called administrative detention. This means their detention can be extended repeatedly.

Sivan Weizman, a spokeswoman for Israel's prison service, said the two started eating on Wednesday, ending a fast that began Dec. 3.

Two other Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike were hospitalized to prevent their health from further deterioration, Weizman said.

The two who were hospitalized, Samer Issawi and Ayman Sharawneh, were released in 2011, as part of a swap of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier who had been held by Hamas militants for more than five years.

Both were rearrested last year for violating the conditions of their release, and have staged lengthy hunger strikes since then.

All four refused food, but received vitamins and other nutrients intravenously.

Palestinians have been protesting for days in support of the hunger strikers and have warned of a backlash if any of them died.

Also Thursday, Israel's Health Ministry issued an update on the autopsy of a Palestinian man who died in Israeli custody over the weekend, but said it could still not determine the cause of death.

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