Palestinian Kayed Fasfous has been in an Israeli hospital since ending his 131-day hunger strike on November 23.
Israeli authorities have released a prominent Palestinian prisoner, two weeks after reaching a release agreement that ended his 131-day marathon hunger strike, a prison rights group said.
Kayed Fasfous, 32, has been in an Israeli hospital since his strike ended on November 23.
He was the symbolic figurehead of six hunger strikers who protested Israel’s controversial policy of “administrative detention”, which allows suspects to be detained indefinitely without charge.
Israel has said the policy is necessary to keep dangerous suspects locked up without disclosing sensitive information that could expose valuable resources.
Palestinians and rights groups said the practice denies the right to due process, allowing Israel to detain prisoners for months or even years without seeing the evidence against them. The law is rarely applied to Israelis.
The Palestinian Prisoners Club, a group representing former and current prisoners, confirmed Fasfous returned home to the occupied West Bank on Sunday afternoon through a military checkpoint near the southern city of Hebron.
Later, online footage showed the former prisoner in a wheelchair celebrating his return to his southern hometown of Dura.
Fasfous served five years in Israeli prisons without charge or trial, and lost about 45 kg (99 pounds) of weight during his hunger strike, the Palestinian Wafa news agency reported.
The fate of the six hunger strikers sparked solidarity protests across the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza in November and increasing pressure on Israel to release the prisoners.
At least four of the five other hunger strikers have since ended their protests after reaching similar agreements with Israeli authorities. They are expected to be released in the coming months.
Hunger strikes were common among Palestinian prisoners and helped obtain numerous concessions from Israeli authorities.
The nature of these strikes ranged from individuals protesting detention without charges to groups calling for improved cell conditions. About 500 of the 4,600 Palestinians detained by Israel are being held in administrative detention, according to Addameer, a Palestinian prisoner rights group.