Israel frees Palestinian prisoner who had refused food for 8 months, living on infusions

A Palestinian prisoner who refused food for eight months to press for his release has walked out of an Israeli prison.

Samer Issawi, 33, was embraced by family as he left the prison in northern Israel on Monday evening. He was given a medical exam in an ambulance parked outside the prison and then drove off.

Issawi had taken only water and infusions for eight months, ending his hunger strike in April. He was among several Palestinian prisoners staging long-term hunger strikes.

Issawi had initially been sentenced to 26 years in prison for involvement in a series of shooting attacks, but won early release in a prisoner swap in 2011. He was rearrested for violating the terms of his release, and had faced the prospect of serving his full term.