GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israel has released a member of the Palestinian national soccer team who lobbied for his freedom with a hunger strike of more than three months.
Mahmoud Sarsak greeted well-wishers in his native Gaza on Tuesday after three years in Israeli custody without charges or trial. Israel has accused Sarsak of being active in the violent group Islamic Jihad, a claim he has denied.
During his hunger strike, the 25-year-old athlete shed nearly half his weight. He ended the fast last month as part of a deal for his release. International sports organizations had sought his release.
At a Gaza hospital, he emerged from an ambulance and kissed his parents and siblings.
Israel had said earlier that he was to be released Tuesday.
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