Monday, May 16, 2011

Israel postpones release of 3 Gaza prisoners

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israel postponed the release of three Gaza men from prison was without explanation, a prisoners support center in Gaza City told Ma'an on Monday.

The men were due for release on Sunday, but were instead transferred from the Negev prison to the Ashkelon prison, a statement said.

Atif Ata Muhammad Hassan from the central Gaza Strip has served 18 years, while Ahmad Jalal Ahmad Hussein from Rafah and Sa’d Khalil Rajab Al-Yaziji from Gaza City have both completed 7-year sentences.

Officials at the prisoners' support center said the release may have postponed due to widespread protests on Sunday as Palestinians marked the 63rd anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba of 1948.

Rallies on Sunday commemorated the expulsion of 760,000 Palestinians from their homes during fighting that came alongside the creation of the state of Israel.

Nakba Day marks the dispossession of those refugees, and the continued demand for their right to return. According to UN statistics, Gaza's population is three-quarters refugees.