Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hamas adds names of Arab detainees from the north to the list for Shallit swap

Wednesday February 18, 2009 08:25 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

Sources close to the Hamas movement stated Tuesday that the movement added the names of twenty detainees from the Galilee and other areas in the north of the country to the list of detainees it demands to be freed under a prisoner swap deal with Israel.


The list was provided to Egypt and the Egyptian government handed the list to Israel.

The sources stated that the twenty names were submitted one week ago to the Egyptian mediators, but the Israeli negotiators rejected it, and said that this is considered an internal Israeli issue.

Hamas insists on its demands and said that these are the conditions that would guarantee extended truce talks, and a prisoner swap deal that would lead to the release of the captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

An organization that defends the rights of Arab detainees in Israel said that Hamas also included the names of all detainees who were kidnapped by Israel before the first Oslo agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1993.

Arab political sources said that a an initial truce deal and a prisoner swap deal were reached, and that a semifinal understanding was achieved before the Israeli Knesset elections, but the new demands of Hamas to release the Arab detainees, the release of prominent Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi and the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Ahmad Sa’adat, obstructed a deal that could have been reached before the Israeli elections, according to the sources.

The sources added that Israeli leaders were competing amongst themselves to achieve a deal before the elections in order to increase their chances of winning more Knesset seats.

The list provided by Hamas includes all detainees who were kidnapped by Israel more than 16 years ago; some of them were kidnapped more than 25 years ago.

The detainees who were added to the list were identified as; Waleed Doqqa, Ibrahim Abu Mokh, Saleh Abu Mokh, and Ibrahim Bayadsa, all from Baqa Al Gharbiyya, Sami Younis, Maher Younis, and Ahmad Abu Jaber, all from Msherfa village near Um al-Fahim, Mohammad Jabarin, Mahmoud Jabarin and Mohammad Tawfiq Jabarin, all from Um al-Fahim, and Mokhlis Borghal and Mohammad Zayed from Lod (Lydda), and Basheer Khateeb from al-Ramla.