Friday, Aug. 23
Latest News
  1. Palestinian goverment: 26 million in development of ministries
  2. Rudeineh: Washington us unable to achieve anything by itself
  3. US: “No plan for unilateral annexation by Israel of the West Bank"
  4. Cluster of incendiary balloons land in southern Israel
  5. Palestinian FM condemns Germany's vote to define BDS as 'anti-Semitic'
  6. Israeli forces forcibly evict Muslim worshipers from Al-Aqsa
  7. Israeli forces detain 14-year-old Palestinian near Ramallah
  8. Erekat: Deviation from peace terms of reference doomed to fail
  9. Iceland's Hatari shocks Eurovision with Palestinian flags
  10. UNRWA: 4 Palestinian children killed in attack on Syria refugee camp

List shows prisoners held despite court order

April 12, 2011 4:30 P.M. (Updated: April 14, 2011 1:22 P.M.)
By: George Hale
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Nine days have passed since President Mahmoud Abbas met in Ramallah with hunger-strikers calling for an end to division in the occupied territories.

During that meeting, leaders of the March 15 pro-unity movement told Abbas that their first demand was for the Palestinian Authority to free political prisoners whose release had been ordered by the High Court but never implemented by the PA.

Abbas, according to people in the room, turned to Tayeb Abdul-Rahim, his top advisor, and said, "Go with them to your office and take their list. If they're still in prison, release them."

The protesters compiled a formal list of 23 names and handed the list over to Abdul-Rahim last Tuesday. They were promised that the prisoners would be freed within 48 hours.

Ma'an has obtained the list of political prisoners that was received by the president's office. One week later, none have been freed despite the ruling and Abbas' promise to the protesters.

Each prisoner's arrest has been ruled invalid due to lack of evidence, yet all remain in detention. They were captured by various security wings in the West Bank, jailed by both military and civilian courts.

For example, PA military intelligence arrested Hasan Zagha in February 2010. After an army court sentenced him to two years, the High Court ruled his arrest illegal. Its decision was never implemented.

The release of Zagha and others like him is the first demand by the hunger-strikers, now on day 19 of their protest. They say they are determined to continue until their demands are met or they die for their cause.

On March 15, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the West Bank and Gaza demanding an end to division between Fatah and Hamas via new elections for the Palestinian National Council.

Security forces in both Palestinian enclaves attacked the demonstrators but Abbas' Palestinian Authority responded more amicably to their demands, saying he was ready to sign a unity deal with Hamas.

Amid the protests, Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh invited Abbas to visit Gaza for reconciliation talks. Abbas accepted the offer but Hamas balked when the president offered to form a temporary unity government.

Last Wednesday, the president departed for Cairo for talks on ending the divide. A unity deal brokered by Egypt in 2009 was signed by Fatah but Hamas took issue with certain aspects and turned it down.
Most Read
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015