Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Official: Barghouti, Saadat won't be freed


JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Two of the most famous militants serving time in Israeli prisons are not part of a mass prisoner swap agreed with Hamas, Israel's top security official said on Tuesday.

Marwan Barghouti, a charismatic leader of the Fatah faction serving five life prison terms for murder, and Ahmed Saadat, found guilty of ordering the murder of Israel's tourism minister in 2001, will not be freed, the head of Israel's Shin Bet spy agency said.

Israel announced on Tuesday it was ready to swap more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit in a deal struck with Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip.

In previous negotiations aimed at securing Shalit's release, the names of both Barghouti and Saadat had often been raised, but Shin Bet chief, Yoram Cohen, told reporters that neither man was included in the final accord.