A Palestinian prisoner has ended his 66-day hunger strike over his detention without charge under a deal that will see him released in April, Palestinian and Israeli officials told Agence France Presse on Tuesday.
"The Israeli court decided to release Khader Adnan on April 17 and based on that he ended his hunger strike," Palestinian prisoner affairs minister Issa Qaraqaa said.
Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the agreement meant "if there's no new evidence against him, he will be released from custody on April 17."
Adnan's lawyer Jawad Bulus also confirmed the deal, details of which were made public just hours before the Israeli Supreme Court was to hear an appeal against the prisoner's detention without charge.
"There will be no extension of his administrative detention and he will be released on April 17," Bulus told AFP.
The Israeli justice ministry confirmed that a deal had been signed, thereby ruling out the need for the hearing which had been due to start at 1300 GMT.
Adnan's wife, Randa Moussa hailed the deal as a "victory" for her husband, whom medics said had lost more than 40 percent of his body weight over the past nine weeks.
"He forced the occupation to give in to his demands and I hope he returns safe to us," she told AFP.
Adnan, 33, was detained on December 17 and began refusing food a day later to protest his detention without charge and his alleged mistreatment by interrogators.
His protest, already the longest hunger strike carried out by any Palestinian prisoner, has attracted international attention and thrown a spotlight on Israel's use of administrative detention, a military procedure which allows suspects to be held without charge.
Israeli officials described Adnan as a "terrorist" from the radical Islamic Jihad movement, although he has never been charged with any offence, nor has any evidence against him been made public.
In January, a military court handed down a four-month administrative detention order against Adnan, which he appealed in an unusual court session earlier this month held at his hospital bed in northern Israel.
But a military court last week rejected his appeal, prompting Bulus to turn to Israel's top court.
Doctors from Physicians for Human Rights-Israel who met with Adnan in recent days had warned that his health was failing and that he faced "immediate danger of death" if he continued to refuse food.
Rights groups have also condemned the conditions in which Adnan is being held at Ziv hospital in the northern town of Safed, where he is shackled to the bed by chains on both legs and on one arm.
His case has sparked demonstrations across the Palestinian territories, with thousands of people taking part in protests on Tuesday in the West Bank cities of Nablus, Jenin, Hebron and Ramallah. A protest was also scheduled in Gaza City.
In Ramallah, shops shut down as part of a general strike in solidarity with Adnan, and Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were also on hunger strike in support of the detainee.
Palestinian officials had warned that Adnan's death in custody could spark a violent backlash, and a spokeswoman for the Israel Prisons Service said they were aware of the "implications" of such a development.
On Monday, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said he had sent a message to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and other top diplomats urging them to put pressure on Israel over the case.
"I asked them all to intervene in Adnan's case. They must apply pressure on Israel to release him," he told AFP.
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