Palestinian security prisoner Iman Sharawna, one of the Palestinian prisoners rearrested after bring freed in exchange for Gilad Shalit in 2011, arrived in the Gaza Strip on Sunday evening after requesting to leave prison and relocate, instead of serving his sentence in an Israeli prison, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.
Ma'an reported that Sharawna had been on hunger strike for some eight months in protest of his arrest.
According to the report, Sharawna arrived at the Erez crossing, where a Palestinian ambulance was waiting to take him into Gaza. Hundreds of people crowded at the Palestinian side of the checkpoint to greet him.
In a press release, the Shin Bet said that Sharawna, a Hamas member, submitted a request recently to leave prison and relocate to the Gaza Strip, instead of serving the rest of his sentence in an Israeli prison.
The Shin Bet said that in keeping with a decision they agreed to with the IDF and the state prosecutors office, his request was approved. Under the agreement, he will be allowed to return to the West Bank after ten years if he has abstained from terror activities, the Shin Bet stated.
It appears that, in accordance with the Shin Bet demands, Sharawna finished his hunger strike and left prison for Gaza almost immediately.
Sharawna was arrested in 2002 for his part in the laying of an explosive device in Beersheba, which injured 18 civilians, as well as the attempted kidnapping of a soldier and a shooting attack on soldiers. Sharawna was sentenced to 38 years in prison but was released as part of the Shalit deal on October 18th, 2011.
The Shin Bet said that immediately after he was let out, he violated the terms of his release, and again began to take part in Hamas security activities, for which he was arrested on January 30th, 2012.
He was one of four hunger-strikers held without formal charge in an Israeli jail who have refused to eat for between three and six months. The plight of the strikers sparked wide-spread rioting in the West Bank last month.