Yesterday an Egyptian mediated agreement was signed between Israel and Palestinian security prisoners that brought an end to a 28-day hunger strike by inmates.
In the deal, the prisoners agreed to refrain from involvement in “activities against security” within prison walls. In exchange, previously suspended benefits will be reinstated by the Israeli Prisons Service, including the renewal of family visits and ending solitary confinement.
According to a report in the Guardian, an Israeli government official said that Israel had “gone the extra mile” in agreeing the terms to end the protest, but added the deal was intended to be an “inducement” to the Palestinian leadership to return to peace talks.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev, said that Israel negotiated the strike-ending deal in response to a request from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. “It is our hope that this gesture by Israel will serve to build confidence between the parties and advance peace,” he said. The prisoner strike issue was discussed Saturday night when Netanyahu’s envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, delivered a letter from the prime minister to Abbas.
During Saturday’s meeting, Molcho and Abbas also agreed on the transfer of 100 bodies of Palestinian terrorists who are buried in Israel. According to reports in Maariv and Makor Rishon, the release of Fatah prisoners was also discussed between Molcho and Abbas, but the two did not reach an understanding on the matter.