Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hamas denies it agreed on the deportation of detainees

Saturday March 28, 2009 05:40 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies

In an interview with the Arabs48 news website, Fawzi Barhoum, media spokesperson of the Hamas movement, said that Hamas did not agree on the Israeli condition to deport some of the detainees who would be freed in the framework of a prisoner exchange deal.

Fawzi Barhoum - Media Spokesperson of Hamas - Image reprinted from Ramattan
Fawzi Barhoum - Media Spokesperson of Hamas - Image reprinted from Ramattan

Barhoum stated that Hamas cannot accept the deportation of any detainee as this is considered another punishment, and that the law does not allow for a detainee to receive two punishments for the same charge.

He added that the occupation is not entitled to punish the Palestinian detainees as this violates the international law, and that all deported Palestinians should be allowed to return to their country and homes.

Barhoum described the rumors about its acceptance to the deportation of 120 detainees as “a media fabrication, and a bubble game to test the response of Hamas”.

He said that Hamas has a clear and fixed stance regarding the prisoner-swap deal.

“The occupation must accept the demands of Hamas because its demands are justified and fair”, Barhoum stated, “In spite of Israeli manipulation and blackmail, our stance remains the same”.

It is worth mentioning that Israel rejected an Egyptian offer to make more concessions, and Israel’s envoy, Ofer Dekel, and the Shabak head, Yuval Diskin, said that “this is all what Israel has to offer”, and that “Hamas must present a new list of detainees if it wants the talks to continue”.

Mohammad Ibrahim, senior Egyptian intelligence official, arrived in the country on Thursday and met with Diskin and Dekel along with other Israeli officials, but Israel refused to change its conditions.

Dekel and Diskin said that Hamas is the side who must present a new list of 125 detainees if it wants the deal to advance.

Hamas originally presented a list containing the names of 450 detainees, Israel approved the release of 325 detainees, and demanded Hamas to chose different names of the remaining 125.