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Thu Feb 7, 2013, 11:37 AM

Palestinian ex-hunger striker freed from Israeli jail

A Palestinian prisoner who last year staged a hunger strike of more than 100 days was freed from an Israeli prison on Thursday and returned to his home in the Gaza Strip.

Akram al-Rikhawi was shown on Palestinian television being welcomed by a large crowd of well-wishers as he crossed into Gaza after close to nine years in jail.

Israel convicted Rikhawi in 2004 for membership of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip.

He was due to be freed in June this year, but the West Bank-based Palestinian Prisoners’ Club said in July that the Israel Prisons Service agreed to bring forward his release in exchange for his ending the hunger strike.


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