Palestinian Prisoners End Hunger Strike
But longest-striking prisoners to continue until they're freed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 14, 2012 12:47 PM CDT
A Palestinian man stands in a symbolic prison cell during a protest supporting Palestinian inmates on hunger strike in Israeli jails, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, May 14, 2012.   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

(Newser) – Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners agreed today to end a weeks-long hunger strike after winning concessions from Israel to improve their conditions and limit detentions without trial, the two sides announced, resolving a standoff that united Palestinians behind one of their most emotional causes. The deal ended one of the largest prison protests ever staged by the Palestinians. Two men had refused food for 77 days, the longest ever Palestinian hunger strike, leaving them in life-threatening conditions. Hundreds more had joined them.

Egyptian mediators brokered the deal. The strikers had demanded permission to receive family visits from Gaza, an end to solitary confinement, and an end to Israel's "administrative detention" policy of jailing terror suspects without trial. Israel granted much of that, and though administrative detention will continue, they won't be extended unless evidence is presented to a military court. But the two longest-striking prisoners say they'll continue refusing food until their administrative detentions are lifted; one has been jailed for more than six years.