The deal on Tuesday that ended a 67-day hunger strike by administrative detainee Khader Adnan was achieved thanks to mediation by Egyptian intelligence, which used its contacts with Israel at the behest of Islamic Jihad.

Adnan is a senior official in the terrorist organization and had been on hunger strike since his detention in the West Bank on December 17.

Several senior Islamic Jihad officials, including secretary general Ramadan Shallah and his deputy, Ziad Nahla, approached senior Egyptian intelligence officials on Adnan's behalf, Haaretz has learned. Noting that Adnan's health was deteriorating, they warned that if he died in administrative detention, it could spark widespread unrest in the territories. They therefore urged Cairo to press Israel to release him when his current detention is due to end, on April 17, rather than slapping him with another detention order.

Egyptian intelligence passed on this request to the Defense Ministry and the Shin Bet security service. It also promised that, in exchange, Adnan was willing to end his hunger strike immediately.

Adnan has been arrested several times in the past by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. But his decision to launch a hunger strike this time turned him into a cause celebre both in the PA and overseas.

One of the Egyptian officials involved in the negotiations with Israel was Nader al-Asser, who was also involved in negotiations over the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit in October. Al-Asser formerly served as Egypt's consul general in Tel Aviv and is known to have close ties with all the various Palestinian factions.

Egyptian intelligence is also intensively involved in the current negotiations over establishing a Hamas-Fatah unity government for the PA. Egyptian officials said this has not only involved mediating between Hamas and Fatah, but also resolving the internal dispute over the deal within Hamas.