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Samer Issawi sentenced to 8 months in prison
Published Thursday 21/02/2013 (updated) 27/02/2013 13:40
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli court on Thursday sentenced hunger-striker Samer Issawi to eight months in prison, but he has yet to face a military committee which could imprison him for 20 years.

Issawi has been on hunger strike for 204 days.

The magistrates court in Jerusalem sentenced Issawi for leaving Jerusalem, in violation of the terms of his amnesty granted in an Oct. 2011 prisoner exchange deal.

The sentence includes time served since Issawi's re-arrest in July 2012, and will conclude on March 6, but Issawi also faces a possible sentence under an Israeli military order which allows a special military committee to cancel prisoners' amnesty.

The committee could use secret evidence to sentence Issawi to serve 20 years, the remainder of his previous sentence.

Issawi was freed in an Oct. 2011 prisoner swap for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Israel has subsequently re-arrested at least 14 prisoners since the deal.

Ahead of Thursday's verdict, Israeli forces clashed with hundreds of Palestinians protesting near Ramallah on Thursday in solidarity with long-term hunger strikers like Issawi.

A Ma'an reporter said 29 protesters were injured by rubber-coated bullets and dozens more suffered tear gas inhalation.

Prisoners minister Issa Qaraqe and Fatah central committee member Mahmoud al-Aloul joined the rally, near Israel's Ofer prison in the central West Bank.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers used "riot dispersal means" against Palestinians who hurled rocks at forces.

Protests have been held across the West Bank and in Gaza in support of Issawi, who has been on hunger strike for 204 days, and Tareq Qaadan and Jaafar Azzidine who have refused food for 86 days.

Also Thursday, the Ahmed Abu Rish Brigades on Thursday threatened to fire rockets at Israel if any jailed hunger striker is harmed.

"We will continue to work with rockets and we will not stand by idly. Military operations will be implemented to achieve the rights of prisoners and to free them," brigades member Abu Ali al-Qawkabi said in a statement.

Al-Qawkabi called on Palestinian leaders in Ramallah to reject any negotiations with Israel and urged the Gaza government to refuse a truce until the detainees' demands are met.

Islamic Jihad meanwhile has said a truce with Israel could unravel if any hunger striker dies.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority called on the international community to step up efforts to protect and release prisoner like Issawi in Israeli detention facilities.

The cabinet also called on the World Health Organization to move forward on plans made last year to form a fact-finding committee to investigate the conditions in Israeli jails, specifically negligence.
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1 ) matt / us
21/02/2013 18:31
He is a killer who was released as part of a swap. he then went back to his old ways and was recaptured. In the usa it is sort of like a parole violation.

2 ) Zainab / UK
21/02/2013 19:25
Freedom or martyrdom are your fate Brother Samer Issawi, because you have chosen to lay your life aside in the struggle for the oppressed & subjugated people of Palestine. I pray that Allah (God) will grant you freedom, so that you can live the life Allah gave you. The life that the people of the world take so easily for granted, without fear or pain. Now is the time that we carry your burden for a while, heal your body a little & let us protest on your behalf. May Allah bless you & your family.

3 ) Plain & Simple / Reality
21/02/2013 20:51
For Both the Prisoners in Israel's jails, and
For Palestinians dreaming of a real state,
Nothing Will Change Without Negotiations !!

4 ) JoeUSA / USA
21/02/2013 22:25
Not Acceptable. How can one be convicted on " Classified Evidence". This is noyt a justice system.This is Draconian act disguised as a court of justice. You cannot claim to be transparent and a protector of human rights and justice while you convict people on secret evidence. How can any suspect defend themselves in such alleged courts if they cannot cross examine , examine and refute the evidence against them. This is truly a Kangaroo Court.

5 ) shirleyS / australia
21/02/2013 23:36
the UN and WHO and red cross need to intervene in what is happening and ask MAAN NEWS to call for MASS email campaign to UN and RED CROSS and also to speak up again about ABU SISI denied out ofd isolation promised cruelty beyond belief

6 ) Ruth / USA
22/02/2013 04:42
Look at the huge thug standing over sick and shrunken Samer -- how disgusting can this army 'justice' system be?

7 ) Mack / Zion
22/02/2013 05:43
A low level conflict is the best way to make giant leaps forward in Israeli missile defense technology. Soon there will be at Iron Dome III then IV and then laser's being fired. Not even a mosquito could get through. "Working with rockets" is over.

8 ) Outsider / EU
22/02/2013 10:35
7) It would be far easier (and cheaper) to resolve the underlying issues. Iron Dome's won't remove the sense of injustice.
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