Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Israel names four detainees who will not be freed under any prisoner-swap deal

Tuesday February 10, 2009 22:36 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News & Agencies

The al-Quds al-Araby newspaper reported Tuesday that Israel presented the names of four Palestinian detainees who will not be freed under any prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel.

Ahmad Saadat - Image republished from PFLP website
Ahmad Saadat - Image republished from PFLP website

Hamas presented to Egypt a list of detainees it wants freed in exchange for releasing captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit. Egypt, acting as mediator, presented the list to Israel.

Three of the four detainees Israel refuses to release under any circumstances are sentenced to multiple life-terms after being “convicted” of planning suicide bombings that led to the death of dozens of Israelis.

The fourth is Ahmad Saadat, secretary-general of the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

The al-Quds al-Araby said that Israel refuses to release Abbas Al Sayyid, head of the Hamas armed wing in Tulkarem, in the northern part of the West Bank.

Al Sayyid is believed to be behind a bombing in Netanya in which 29 Israelis were killed. After the bombing, the then Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, invaded the West Bank and besieged the late Palestinian President. Yasser Arafat, in his Ramallah headquarters.

The second detainee is Abdullah Al Barghouthi who was sentenced to 67 consecutive life-terms as Israel believes that he is responsible for a series of bombings in which, according to Israel, 66 Israelis were killed and at least 500 were wounded.

He is also believed to be the master-mind of a bombing at a restaurant in Jerusalem in August of 2001, in which 15 Israelis were killed and dozens were wounded.

The Israeli prosecution also claim that he was behind a bombing at the Hebrew University, and a bombing in a Night Club in Rishon Letzion in which 35 Israelis were killed, and 370 were wounded.

The third detainee is Ibrahim Hamed, age 41, who is believed to be the mastermind of several attacks that led to the death of 60 Israelis and the injury of hundreds of other Israelis.

The fourth detainee is PFLP secretary-general, Ahmad Saadat, who was sentenced to multiple life-terms after he was kidnapped by Israeli soldiers who raided the Jericho Palestinian Prison that was supposed to be monitored by European guards.

Israel claims that Saadat is behind the assassination of the then-Israeli tourism minister, Rehavam Ze'ev at a Jerusalem Hotel in October of 2001.

Senior Palestinian sources reported that Turkish officials, who are also mediating in the talks, promised Hamas to try to convince Israel to alter its decision, and release the four detainees along with the rest of the detainees who would be freed in the anticipated prisoner-swap deal.