Israel has agreed to a proposal that would end a mass hunger strike by Palestinians in Israeli jails, according to an Egyptian official. The official, who spoke to AP on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, said yesterday that under the deal Israel will move prisoners currently in solitary confinement to regular cells.
Israel will also soften its ‘administrative detention’ policy, under which prisoners deemed a security risk could be held without charges. The official said, however, that the Egyptian-drafted deal still needs to be approved by the Palestinian Prisoner Association – a committee composed of high profile prisoners from Palestinian political factions.
Israeli officials have not confirmed the report, but an Israeli source close to the negotiations said yesterday that an agreement is likely ‘today or tomorrow.’ The source added that the negotiations now hinged on two key issues: family visits from the Gaza Strip and solitary confinement policies.
A Senior Fatah official, Azzam Al-Ahmad, speaking to the Palestinian news agency Ma’an yesterday, has also said that Israel and the strikers were expected to sign an agreement to end solitary confinement, improve prison conditions and permit family visits, within the next few hours.
Approximately 1,600 prisoners in Israeli jails launched a joint hunger strike last month demanding better conditions and putting an end to detention without trial. Israel has come under significant pressure from the international community to find a solution that would end the hunger strike.