Lawyer: Israel's supreme court rejects petition to free hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner

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A lawyer for a Palestinian prisoner on hunger strike says Israel's supreme court has rejected a petition to release his client.

Attorney Nery Ramati says he was told Wednesday to exhaust the appeals process with a military committee first, before petitioning the top court.

Ramati's client, Ayman Sharawneh, was originally sentenced for 38 years for militant activity but was released in 2011 exchange for a captive soldier.

But the military committee later ordered Sharawneh re-arrested, citing secret evidence allegedly showing he violated his release terms.

Sharawneh has refused food for over 70 days in an off-again, on-again hunger strike to protest his continued detention.

The military committee will meet Feb. 28 to decide on Sharawneh's fate. It has the power to decide whether he will serve his full term.