Thursday, April 2, 2009

Released legislator: “Abducting legislators is a crime Israel must be held accountable for”

Friday April 03, 2009 01:00 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC News

Fathi Al Qar’awi, a Hamas legislator who was recently released from an Israeli prison, described the Israeli abduction of Palestinian legislators as a war crime, and added that the legislators and all elected officials must be released.

Fathi Qar'awi
Fathi Qar'awi

He said that all detained legislators are closely following the internal talks held in under Egyptian mediation in Cairo, and that they all believe that unity and reconciliation is the only way to maintain the Palestinian rights and steadfastness.

Qar’awi said that the detained legislators, and all detainees, regardless of their political affiliation are closely following the news on internal talks and that the detainees support the talks and support unity among all factions.

In an interview with the Palestinian Center for Defending the Detainees, Qar’awi said shortly after he was released, that the detainees are appealing the negotiators not to bring despair to the hearts and minds of their people, and to end the internal divisions.

He also said that the detainees are appealing the Arab and Islamic Nations to act for the release of all detainees imprisoned by Israel, and added that abducting legislators and elected officials violates the international law and the basic principles of human rights.

Qar’awi stated that the detainees are in solidarity with each other and with their people, and that while the Palestinian Prisoners Day approaches (April 17) there are dozens of detainees in solitary confinement, some of them spent years in solitary, and hundreds are under interrogation and torture, in addition to hundreds of detainees who are imprisoned under administrative detention orders without charges or trial.

“We must take off to the streets, we must protest, we must bring international attention to the issue of the detainees, imprisoned by Israel in violation to the international law”, he said, “there are subjected to daily violations, abuse and attacks”.

Qar’awi is from Nour Shams refugee camp, near Tulkarem, he was imprisoned by Israel several times between the years 1990 – 2002. In 1996 he was detained by the Palestinian Authority.

He was also one of a number of Hamas officials deported by Israel to Marj Al Zohour in southern Lebanon.

On December 17, 1992, Israel deported 416 Palestinians, members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, to Marj AL Zohour. The deported Palestinians camped in Marj Al Zohour and rejected to go to Lebanon until Israel was obliged to allow them back into the country.