Palestinian ex hunger-striker to Gaza

2012-04-01 21:38

Gaza City - Israel on Sunday deported a Palestinian woman prisoner who spent 43 days on hunger strike to the Gaza Strip, under a deal that has been criticised by Palestinians.

Eyewitnesses and Palestinian officials told AFP that Hanaa Shalabi entered Gaza via the Erez border crossing, and was being transferred by ambulance to a local hospital for tests.

Shalabi, who met relatives on the Israeli side of Erez before entering Gaza, said she was "very happy to be in my country with my people," but that the encounter with her family - from Jenin in the West Bank - was very difficult.

"I was shocked meeting my family, and they were shocked to see me," she told the media on the Gaza side of Erez. "The meeting with my family was very difficult."

Shalabi was received in Gaza by approximately 100 people bearing her picture and calling out her name. Officials from the Islamic Jihad and Hamas movements were also there.

Israel's prison services spokesperson Sivan Weizman confirmed that Shalabi had been taken from the Ramla prison south of Tel Aviv to the Erez crossing.

Weizman said Shalabi, who ended her hunger strike on March 29, was being transferred in a regular vehicle, and said she had no details on her condition.

Shalabi began her hunger strike after she was arrested on February 16 and held without charge.

On March 29, Palestinian authorities announced that Shalabi had agreed a deal with Israel under which she would be released and deported to Gaza for three years in exchange for ending her hunger strike.

Voluntary deal

The deal has been criticised by rights groups and the Palestinian prisoners affairs ministry, which said she had been forced to accept the arrangement.

But in a statement released on Sunday through her lawyer Jawad Bulus, Shalabi insisted she had agreed the deal voluntarily.

"To my dear family and my people and all the free people in the world, I thank you for your efforts and I appreciate everything you did for me and for the prisoners," she said.

"I hope that you will understand my position and my decision, which was taken freely."

"I chose to be transported to Gaza, which is half the homeland, and to be with my family and people there for three years," she said.

"After that I will go back to my home in Jenin and to my family. I hope that my decision will be respected and that we will continue to support together those who are fighting their battles for the homeland and for the prisoners."

Palestinian prisoners group Addameer and Israel's Physicians For Human Rights-Israel, both of which worked on Shalabi's case, expressed concern about the deal in a joint statement on Sunday.

They noted that their officials, as well as Shalabi's relatives, were denied access to her during the final days of her hunger strike.

Copycat cases

And they warned that "aspects" of the deal "are fundamentally at odds with international law".

"With no guarantees that she or her family will be permitted to travel, her expulsion could essentially become an extension of her previous isolation from her home and family while in prison."

Shalabi's action was inspired by a hunger strike by another Palestinian prisoner, Khader Adnan, who was also protesting against his administrative detention.

Israeli administrative detention orders allow a court to order an individual to be detained for periods of up to six months at a time.

Adnan refused food for 66 days, agreeing only to end his hunger strike after a deal was struck ensuring he would be released at the end of his four-month term.

In the wake of his hunger strike, dozens more Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have launched similar protests, Palestinian and Israeli officials say.

Read more on:    hamas  |  israel  |  gaza strip

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24


ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.


Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2815.00

I'm shopping for:


There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.