Israel releases Palestinian prisoner

Israel on Thursday released a Palestinian prisoner four months before his nine-year term completes because he renewed his hunger strike.

The prisoner, Akram Rikhawi, has crossed into the Gaza Strip through Erez crossing point. He was greeted by dozens of relatives and people from Islamic Hamas movement, which controls the coastal enclave.

In July, Rikhawi stopped a fasting of 104 days based on an agreement with Israeli Prison Service. The agreement allows Rikhawi, a resident of the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, to be released on Jan. 25.

However, Rikhawi was not freed on the stipulated date, so he entered a new hunger strike.

Rikhawi has become the seventh prisoner freed by Israel after hunger strike.

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