Israeli Cabinet Approves Swap Deal

Palestine’s Prisoners – Worldwide Event Oct 12,2011 | Pictures | Topic | Category

Wednesday October 12, 2011 03:30 by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies

The Israeli cabinet, headed by Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, held a meeting on Tuesday night after midnight, and approved the mediated prisoner-swap deal between Israel and the Palestinian factions holding Israeli corporal, Gilad Shalit captive, since five years.

Gilad Shalit -
Gilad Shalit –

Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that 26 ministers of the Israeli cabinet voted for the deal, while three opposed it.

The opposing votes came from Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, National Infrastructure Minister, Uzi Landau, and vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Noam, the father of Gilad Shalit, thanked the Israeli government for what he called the “courageous decision”, adding that the whole impasse for the family will not be over until Shalit is back home, Haaretz reported.

Under the swap-deal that was presented before the Israeli cabinet by Netanyahu, Israel would first release 450 Palestinian detainees, including 280 detainees sentenced to life-terms.

Haaretz reported that 110 detainees would be allowed to go back home in the West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem, and that 55 of them are members of Hamas.

203 detainees will not be allowed back to the West Bank; 40 of them will be forced into exile and the rest will be sent to the Gaza Strip.

Six Arab detainees from the 1948 territories will be allowed back home; female detainees will be released while detainees Ahlam Tamimi and Amna Mona, as they will be forced into exile.

The Second stage of the Prisoner-swap deal is scheduled to be implemented after two months; Israel would then release 550 detainees whose names will be chosen by the Israel government. When Israel releases detainees, it usually chooses detainees who are about to end their term, detainees not involved in “violent attacks”, and even those who were supposed to be released but were never let go.

Israeli security sources reported that senior Hamas fighters and members in the West Bank, mainly Abdullah Barghouthi, Abbas Al Sayyid, and Abdullah Barghouthi will not be released.

Haaretz also stated that Ahmad Saadat, Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and Fateh leader, Marwan Barghouthi, will not be freed.

Israel will also impose restrictions on nearly half of the released West Bank detainees, by forbidding them from leaving the West Bank, while some of them will not be allowed to leave their towns of residence.

Israeli Shin Bet Chief (Israel Security Agency), Yoram Cohen, stated that the reached swap deal “is not good” for Israel. Shalit is the only Israeli prisoner of war in Palestinian hands.

There more than 6000 Palestinians who re still imprisoned by Israel, including dozens of persons from different Arab countries. 820 detainees were sentenced to at last one life term.

There are 37 female detainees, and 425 children, who are currently imprisoned by Israel, in addition to 136 detainees who have been in prison since more than 20 years. 41 detainees have been imprisoned since more than 25 years and four have been in prison since more than 30 years.

Since the outbreak of the Al Aqsa Intifada on September 28, 2000, the Israel army kidnapped 70.000 Palestinians, including 8000 children and 850 women. Four of the kidnapped women were pregnant when kidnapped and delivered their children while shackled on prison clinic beds.

Israel also kidnapped dozens of elected ministers, legislators and officials, and issued more than 20.000 Administrative Detention orders against the detainees.


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