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Israel releases Palestinian soccer player on hunger strike

English.news.cn   2012-07-10 18:48:02            

MIDEAST-GAZA-RELEASE-PRISONER-SARSAK
Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud al-Sarsak (C) is surrounded by friends and relatives upon his arrival in al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on July 10, 2012. Israel on Tuesday released a Palestinian prisoner who had spent 95 days on hunger strike in protest of his detention without a charge. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)

GAZA, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Israel on Tuesday released a Palestinian prisoner who had spent 95 days on hunger strike in protest of his detention without a charge.

Mahmoud al-Sarsak, 25, arrived in the Gaza Strip in the afternoon via Erez crossing point, where dozens of people and members of the Islamic Jihad movement waited him.

The crowds raised posters for the former Palestinian national soccer team's player and received him with flowers. He was taken immediately for medical checkup at Gaza's al-Shifa hospital.

Al-Sarsak stopped his fasting on June 18 following an agreement with the Israeli authorities to release him on July 10. He spend his final weeks of starvation at an Israeli hospital.

He was arrested under Israel's 2002 Unlawful Combatant Law, which allows the incarceration of some Palestinians and Lebanese without trial.

Al-Sarsak was arrested in 2009 at Erez when he was en route from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank to join a local football club there.

In June, the president of FIFA, the football's international regulation body, expressed "grave concern" for the detention of al- Sarsak and urged Israel to ensure his right in due process.

Al-Sarsak is the fourth Palestinian prisoner to be released after fasting for months this year. Two prisoners are still on hunger strike for 91 and 84 days respectively.

Special Report: Palestine-Israel Conflicts

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Editor: Yang Lina
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