Spare a thought for the 8,000 Palestinian prisoners

Spare a thought for the 8,000 Palestinian prisoners

By Stuart Littlewood
20 October 2011

Stuart Littlewood highlights the hypocrisy of Britain’s Israeli stooges, foremost Prime Minister David Cameron and Defence Select Committe Chairman James Arbuthnot who, while rejoicing over the release of Israeli prisoner Gilad Shalit, are happy to ignore the fate of 8,000 Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli prisons and Israel’s utter disregard for international humanitarian conventions.

I was once a national serviceman, drafted into the military by a barmy government. So I can’t deny that I’m pleased for Gilad Shalit and his parents. No teenage soldier, especially a conscript, should spend five years in anyone’s prison even if soldiering for the world’s vilest regime.

On the other hand, why is there such a torrent of sympathy for Shalit when the much-hyped thousand-for-one prisoner swop leaves 8,000 Palestinians still rotting in Israeli jails, some of them having languished in captivity far longer than our Israeli hero?

Life in Israel’s prisons

And for those 8,000 it’s no picnic. A United Nations Human Rights Council report (A/HRC/WG.6/3/ISR/3) of December 2008 highlighted some unpalatable truths about life in Israel’s prisons:

  • Use of coercive techniques to extract confessions
  • Use of confessional evidence obtained illegally to convict
  • Lack of effective mechanisms for investigating complaints of torture
  • Arrests and detentions are based on secret evidence to which neither the detainees nor their counsels have access
  • Neither the prisoner nor his/her lawyer has the right to see the evidence against them
  • Repeated extension of initial detention without evidence to justify it
  • Large numbers detained without charges or any trial procedures
  • “Administrative’”detention is grounded on “security reasons” and hearings are not open to the public.
  • “Administrative” detention is regularly used against Palestinian children
  • Seriously bad prison conditions including overcrowding, family visits denied, arbitrary transfers, torture and ill-treatment by Israeli security, soldiers and prison guards, deteriorating health conditions and increasing deaths in custody.
“The UN has laid bare the evil of Israel’s “snatch squads” that prey on innocent Palestinian men, women, children and students, and the regime’s cynical disregard for their wellbeing while in its clutches.”

Even when it’s a civil matter Palestinians are dealt with by Israeli military courts, which treat Palestinian children as adults as soon as they reach 16 – a flagrant violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. These courts ignore international laws and conventions, so there’s simply no legal protection for individuals under Israeli military occupation.

As detention is often based on secret information, which neither the detainee nor his lawyer is allowed to see, it is impossible to mount a proper defence. And the security service always finds a bogus excuse to keep detainees locked up “in the greater interest of the security of Israel”. Although detainees have the right to review and appeal, they are unable to challenge the evidence and check facts because all information presented to the court is classified.

The UN has laid bare the evil of Israel’s “snatch squads” that prey on innocent Palestinian men, women, children and students, and the regime’s cynical disregard for their wellbeing while in its clutches.

It’s obvious that Israel still hasn’t emerged from the swamp, and probably never will.

Hypocrisy of Britain’s Zionist stooges laid bare

Commenting on the release of Sergeant Gilad Shalit, British Prime Minister David Cameron said:

I know that people across Britain will share in the joy and relief felt by Gilad Shalit and his family today. I can only imagine the heartache of the last five years, and I am full of admiration for the courage and fortitude which Sergeant Shalit and his family have shown through his long cruel and unjustified captivity. I congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu and everyone involved for bringing him home safely, and hope this prisoner exchange will bring peace a step closer.

Britain will continue to stand by Israel in defeating terrorism. We remain strongly committed to the cause of peace in the Middle East – with Israel and a Palestinian state living side by side in security. We will continue to work for direct negotiations to achieve that end.

Note that Cameron says nothing about the long, cruel and unjustified captivity of the thousands of Palestinians. And he badly needs re-educating on the subject of terrorism.

The parliamentary chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel, James Arbuthnot MP, said:

I congratulate Prime Minister Netanyahu. Like every good prime minister he listened to what the people wanted and he made the tough decisions. He did the right thing. We must, however, not confuse this victory for humanity as a victory for Hamas. As Israel and the Palestinians continue to work towards peace and two states for two peoples it remains as clear as ever that Hamas cannot play a part in this process with their ideology intact. The UK must continue to ensure that the Quartet Principles are upheld and re-enforced.

No problems with Zionist ideology then, Sir James?

It hasn’t yet dawned on Arbuthnot that no self-respecting Palestinian wants any part of the discredited “process” he eagerly recommends. Besides being a devoted Israel flag-waver, he is, worryingly, chairman of our Defence Select Committee and, laughably, a member of the posh-sounding “Top Level Group of UK Parliamentarians for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation”, where one presumes he pleads Israel’s case for not signing.

The remarks of both men, rejoicing for Shalit while showing no concern whatever for the thousands still languishing in Israel’s jails, demonstrate a lack of humanity that’s quite obscene.

“How many innocent Palestinians did Shalit shred and how many homes did he blast? How much infrastructure (paid for by British taxpayers’ aid money) did he blow to smithereens?”

Apparently, 60 MPs and other parliamentarians, including Arbuthnot of course, were sufficiently befuddled to sign the following Conservative Friends of Israel petition:

Free Gilad Shalit petition
We the undersigned call for the immediate release of Corporal Gilad Shalit. On 25 June 2006, Shalit was abducted by Hamas militants in a premeditated cross-border terrorist attack inside Israel. Captured at the age of 19, the young solider has been held in isolation ever since and is neither permitted to send or receive messages from his family.

Shalit’s detention is a serious violation of international humanitarian laws governing the treatment of prisoners of war, as enshrined by the Third Geneva Convention. Throughout his captivity Shalit has been denied the most basic of rights. This cruel and inhumane treatment is a blatant and direct contravention of the Third Geneva Convention.
We insist that Hamas immediately release Gilad Shalit, and before it does so, afford him the right of communication with his family and unfettered access for the International Committee of the Red Cross to ensure his well-being.

I doubt if this made the Hamas resistance sit up and take notice. Many of their leaders, including Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud al-Zahar, have seen the inside of Israeli prisons and all their lives have been on the receiving end of non-stop mega-violations of international humanitarian law, as indeed has the entire Palestinian population.

Shalit, we’re told, was a tank gunner deployed on the Gaza border, a teenager playing with big boys’ lethal toys. Those tanks make frequent incursions into Gaza to shell civilian targets. How many innocent Palestinians did Shalit shred and how many homes did he blast? How much infrastructure (paid for by British taxpayers’ aid money) did he blow to smithereens?

How many notches on his big gun barrel? Or did he keep a bung in it?

Like the rest of Israel’s army of illegal occupation, his job was to terrorize the Palestinians in pursuit of the Zionist regime’s land-grabbing master plan.

Hard-core depravity

Last night I watched a TV interview in which the Israeli government’s propaganda chief, Mark Regev, called the Palestinian prisoners “hard-core killers”. Tell you what, Mr Regev, killing doesn’t come more hard-core than tanks, helicopter gunships, F-16s, armed drones and warships taking pot-shots at tightly packed civilians in the most crowded strip of land on earth. Or Israel’s vicious blitzkrieg called Operation Cast Lead. Or the murderous assault on the Mavi Marmara bringing desperately needed humanitarian aid to illegally blockaded Gaza.

The kill-rate is disgustingly hard-core – Israelis slaughtering Palestinians at the rate of 11 to 1 (over 14 to 1 when it comes to children) – according to B’Tselem’s statistics since the start of the second Intifada in 2000.

And it’s not just the dead. Israel’s Cast Lead Operation against the Gazans is reported to have left some 5,450 injured and maimed. It also destroyed or damaged 58,000 homes, 280 schools, 1,500 factories and water and sewage installations. And it used prohibited weapons like depleted uranium and white phosphorus shells. That’s hard-core depravity, Mr Regev.

And here’s something else. Young Gilad Shalit was born and brought up on Palestinian territory which Israel was never entitled to. The UN allocated it to the Arabs in the 1947 Partition Plan and it was stolen and ethnically cleansed by hard-core Jewish/Israeli terror squads in 1947-48.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

477 freedom-fighters released and the struggle continues

October 18, 2011 -11:58 PM
October 18, is a milestone in the history of Palestine and the region. The date of the release of 450 Palestinian prisoners including 27 female prisoners, the first step of the exchange agreement between the resistances, represented by al-Qassam Brigades, and the Zionist entity. Within two months under the terms of the agreement, supervised by the Egyptian security services,the second stage will see the release of 550 other prisoners.

This October 18th is also a milestone in the history of the national movement of prisoners, although this is not the first time an exchange takes place to release Palestinian and Arab prisoners in exchange for Zionist soldiers. However, this is the very first time a Zionist soldier is kidnapped captured on occupied Palestine land, and the first time a Zionist is held hostage by the Palestinian resistance during a period of over five years, in total secrecy, defeating the Zionist intelligence services, the east and the west and their collaborators.

It is also the first time since the Oslo accords, political prisoners of the city of al-Quds and the occupied lands of 48 are included in an exchange agreement. Having had our say; that Isma’il Haniyyé, the acting Prime Minister in Gaza,- is representing the front-line borders of Palestine.- and – For the first time so many fighters lives are rescued.! – During his first press conference, Khaled Meshaal declared that – “ the exchange agreement with the Zionist entity was a great and historic achievement.” – These public appearances actually, despite the judgments, justified or not, “rocketed” immediately after announcement of its details.

On October 18, 2011 we experienced the release of 477 combatants, members of the Palestinian resistance, who for their most part today,wish for a return to the fields of armed struggle, a selfless course aimed at improving the quality of their people’s life. In a tireless strive against the colonial administration; the Palestinian armed resistance has served their time as political prisoners.

Sent to five lifetime sentence’s, released on October 18 were 310 political prisoners, including female combatants, in exchange for one Zionist soldier The exchange agreement, which overhauled the claims of the resistance in broad outline, despite of its shortcomings, is a victory of the resistance, which reflects a balance of force on the ground. More than 100 prisoners from the West Bank city of al-Quds are released to Gaza, and 40 prisoners, including 25 of al-Quds, are deported to the Arab and Islamic countries ( Syria, Qatar and Turkey). Several leaders of the resistance are still prisoners, including Hamas movement, the Islamic Jihad, Fatah, and the PFLP … and many prisoners are still detained, including three in (48), of the occupied territories. These are items that somewhat has tarnished the joy and the rejoicing of the Palestinian people,wherever they are.
Following the issuance of the Zionist soldier, who in an interview on Egyptian television acknowledged that he had been well treated, and that he wished for the release of all Palestinian prisoners. A key-word is repeated by several Palestinian organizations, meaning the need to kidnap Zionist soldiers to exchange them for the liberation of 5000 and more prisoners, (not included are the 550 fighters to be released within two months.) The exchange agreement proved to the Palestinian people, the Arab and Islamic people, even to the rest of the world; that only resistance is able to free their freedom fighters. According to the criteria of resistance, exchange agreement alone, can not liberate such a great number of combatants.
It is true that the acting Palestinian President of Ramallah, Mahmoud Abbas, hosted prisoners return to Ramallah, which in regard, Na’ila Barghouty and Fakhry Barghouty,said: -” A deal to release many prisoners, is the very next issue with the Zionist state” Wait and see, since it seems to be an interesting case, which will become a priority in the formation of a Palestinian state – within the 1967 borders. However, it is important to note that its security services, many fighters of Islamic Jihad and the Hamas Movement are still captive in the prisons of the West Bank.


To the successful exchange agreement between the Palestinian resistance and the Zionist entity – the release of 477 Palestinian soldiers and combatants, and moreover, the pending parole of 550 prisoners, in regards to security, we must dedicate the great victory to the Palestinian resistance. During five long years of obstructed justice, besieged, bombarded with missiles from dawn to sunset, yet, still no intelligence – service in the world have been able to determine the whereabouts of a soldier held captive in an geographic area as tiny as the Gaza Strip. If the Zionists were capable of murdering the Palestinian envoy, Mahmoud Mabhouh and the Lebanese commander Hajj ‘Imad Moghnieh in countries where the resistance does not control all the data.

Hamas security men keep watch as a bus c In Gaza the Zionists entity were unable to infiltrate the resistance, whom today have gained an even greater control over their land.

Today, liberation fighters in Zionist prisons crown the years of sacrifice of a population, which has suffered from two bloody wars, air strikes, blockades, destruction and threat of annihilation. But their injuries will heal, by time their injuries will heal. The Palestinian people never exerted pressure on the leaders of the resistance to release the abducted Zionist soldier. On the contrary, the Palestinian people have
despite unmeasurable hardship carried through and patiently waited, with faith in Gods will, in the cause of his people and his prisoners. With the support of its people, resisted all international pressure. The victory of the Palestinian resistance is the victory of Gaza, for all that of the great Palestinians who refused to comply and submit to normalization with the Zionist occupant.

Finally, the comparison between the conditions of a Zionist soldier, detained by Palestinian freedom fighters, accentuates a particularly significant detail, as it is stated by the leaders of Hamas; that is, the difference between Islamic moral – the humanity of the Palestinians resistance, and the immorality of the criminal Zionists occupation of Palestine. The killing, the racial extermination, the nauseating and humiliation of prisoners in Zionist detention – centers. In their prisons, the Zionist fixed intentions are to destroy the will of the Palestinian prisoner, the Palestinian distinctive traits of mind and prominence. Yet, contrary to expectation, they have failed. Today, the will of Palestinian prisoners whom were freed from Zionist prisons, have proved ability to withstand great suffering and provocations. Palestinian political prisoners were stronger than their jailers, the Zionist entity and its institutions.These men, and women are true freedom fighters!
On Tuesday, Hamas media office in the southern town of Gaza, Khan Younis, released the names of 16 Palestinian prisoners freed by the Zionist entity in the exchange deal with the Palestinian resistance.

1. Taleeb Ibrahim Abu Mustafa
2. Ibrahim Mohammad Shabaan Ibrahim al-Hindi
3. Ismael Mousa Hussein Bakheet
4. Akram Abdul-Rahman Salameh
5. Hani Mohammad Salman Abu Setaah
6. Muunes Ahmad Hussein al-Aqaad
7. Abdul-Aziz Mohammad Abdul Aziz Masri
8. Imad Al-Deen Atta Qasem Zoroub
9. Fareed Mohammad Mahmoud Qaisi
10. Nasser Yousef Mahmoud Fadi “al-Qadi”
11. Yahia Ibrahim Hassan Al-Sinwar
12. Ihab Hasheem Mohammad Qenen
13. Ahmad Salman Ahmad al-Fajjam
14. Salam Hassan Khalil Shab
15. Alian Abdul-Kareem Salameh al-Zir
16. Mustafa Ali Hussein Ramadan

“Palestine is the heart of Arab countries” – The PalestineFreeVoice

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Hasan Salamah hails the prisoner exchange deal

[ 19/10/2011 – 03:10 PM ]

RAMALLAH, (PIC)– Imprisoned Qassam Brigades leader, Hasan Salamah said in a message from Askalan prison on Tuesday afternoon: “To get women captives free is an achievement to be proud of [..] to get all these veteran captives freed is a great achievement.”
“I wished to be with you along with all my remaining brothers, but Allah’s Will is for that not to happen now despite all your efforts,” he said.
Armed Palestinian Hamas militants keep p“We live with your promise to us, the promise of heroes, and that is enough for me, because you are the ones who promised and fulfilled your promise in this deal dubbed ‘the promise of free men’,” he added.
To the freed captives he said: “I wished I could have seen you off and hugged you before you left, but my consolation and that of my fellow captives is that you are going to your freedom. I wish happy times and hope you enjoy your freedom. We have a date when we will meet.

Again I congratulate this people, this movement, and this resistance spearheaded by the Qassam Brigades for this great achievement which contented my heart and brought tears to my eyes.”

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

Freed Detainees Pledge to Continue Resistance

Sixteen Palestinian prisoners arrived in Damascus on Wednesday after being released on Tuesday as part of a swap deal in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

Fifteen men and one woman, Amna Muna, walked down the steps of an aircraft at Damascus airport to be welcomed by Hamas officials. Muna, an activist from the West Bank, was jailed for life for being responsible for killing an Israeli in 2001.

Muna said the joy of leaving prison was tempered by a future living in exile. “I lived seven years in prison and today is a happy day but not completely because we are away from our home and we left prisoners who are suffering from the detention. Sure it is my second home (Syria) but there is nothing such as the land you were born and grew up in,” Muna said.
Under the terms of the deal, around 40 of those who had been jailed for involvement in deadly attacks were being deported abroad. Turkey confirmed it would take in around 10, while others were destined for Syria and Qatar.

Hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel’s borders on Tuesday as the thousand-for-one prisoner swap brought joy to families.

“The resistance is increasing and there are steps for the future. The resistance will continue until the victory, God willing,” said one of the released men, Nimer Darwaze, according to Maan news agency.
“We dedicate the best greetings to the martyrs who were the reason in capturing the soldier. We send our greetings to the negotiators who succeeded and earned a lot. This is a great accomplishment,” another former prisoner, Motassim Mawdidi said.

He said the conditions for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were harsh. “The prisoners are suffering from the worst conditions in the occupation’s prisons. The occupation creates every day new ways to torture and humiliate the prisoners. But, thank God, the prisoners are strong and they will not give up.”
After the 477 freed on Tuesday, a further 550 Palestinians will be released soon.

Source: Agencies

16 Liberated Palestinian Prisoners Arrive in Damascus

20111019-085935.jpgDAMASCUS, (SANA)- Sixteen liberated Palestinian prisoners arrived on Wednesday in Damascus International Airport, on board a Syrian airplane.
The liberated prisoners deported to Syria include one Palestinian girl who had spent seven years in the Israeli jails.

477 prisoners were freed on Tuesday as part of a swap deal between the Israeli occupation government and the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
The deal included the release of 1027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was held captive by Hamas in 2006. The other 550 will be released within two months.
Freed prisoner Nimr Ibrahim Drouzeh told SANA that the swap deal proves that the resistance will continue until achieving victory, adding that some of the freed prisoners were jailed for 30 years.
For his part, Rabee Salamah Za’al said that “I chose to come to Syria because it supports the resistance… When I’m in Syria, I feel my return to Palestine is near.”
Freed prisoner Ahmad Hanini, said “I’m proud to be in Syria because Syria is the throbbing heart of Arabism… Syria and Palestine are one country.”
Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Ahmed Jibril pointed out to the importance of this operation which proved the ability of the resistance to confront the Israeli occupation.
Jibril added that “The Israeli occupation understands only the concept of power and the negotiations with it never resulted in releasing any prisoner.”
He stressed the role of Syria in embracing the Palestinian resistance, highlighting that this operation wouldn’t have been accomplished without Syria.
Jamal Issa of Hamas Movement, said that Syria will embrace the prisoners because it is the basic supporter of the resistance, stressing that this swap deal proves that the Palestinian people support the resistance.
Member of the PFLP Political Bureau, Anwar Raja, said that “The number of the prisoners who came to Syria stresses that Damascus is the strategic bastion of the resistance despite the intentional crises plotted against it to undermine its national and pan-Arab stances.”
Member of the PFLP Political Bureau, Maher al- Taher, described the swap deal as a huge accomplishment, hoping that all the prisoners will be released from the Israeli jails.
“We came to Damascus Airport to welcome the freed prisoners in their country Syria, which have always embraced the resistance.” He concluded.

Plane Carrying 11 Freed Palestinians Lands in Turkey
A Turkish plane carrying 11 Palestinian prisoners, released as part of a deal that freed Israeli occupation soldier Gilad Shalit, landed at an Ankara airport Wednesday, a foreign ministry official said.

The plane landed at Esenboga airport in Ankara after bringing the 11 Palestinians, including one woman, from Cairo airport in Egypt, the official told AFP.

Television footage showed the freed inmates making victory signs as they were taken from the airport under tight security measures.
“We extend our deepest thanks t
o Turkey,” the Palestinian ambassador to Turkey, Nabil Marouf, was quoted as saying by the private NTV television.

It was not immediately clear where the 11 Palestinian prisoners would stay and for how long. The Palestinian envoy said that would be decided by the Turkish government.
Turkey had said it was ready to host some of the released Palestinian detainees along with Qatar, Syria and Egypt.

English BulletinRiver to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

"The people want a new Shalit,"

Our experience with the Israeli enemy says that if we want to regain our detainees or to know the fate of the missing, we must capture Israeli soldiers” said Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah in November, 2005.

This equation has proven efficiency through the past years, with all the freed Arab detainees in the Israeli jails have seen freedom through swap deals between the resistance movements and the Zionist entity.

Jubilation as Palestinian Detainees Return Home

Batoul Wehbe
With Resistance we win

In an unprecedented sign of victory to Palestinians and defeat to Israel, 1,027 Palestinian detainees will be freed 477 of which were freed today in the first tranche of an Egyptian-mediated deal that saw the Israeli captured soldier Gilad Shalit released.

This is the heaviest price Israel ever paid for one of its soldiers.

Throngs of excited Palestinians gathered in the West Bank and Gaza from early Tuesday, preparing to greet prisoners released. Dozens of Palestinian detainees’ families were chanting, cheering and waving welcoming their beloved detainees .

Shalit Hopes Palestinian Prisoners Return Home, Says Hamas Treated Him Well

Chants of “The people want a new Shalit,” could be heard as Hamas and Fatah supporters waved flags together as part of large scale celebrations.

No need for another Shalit, Netayahoo promised me to free more prisoners
Kudos Mr. Abbas‏, the “tragic hero”: The “plucked chicken” is soaring into the sky. Give him a chance  
Hundreds of Arab 48 Palestinians gathered at the entrance of Umm el-Fahm on Tuesday morning to celebrate the release of a resident of the town who were released as part of the deal.


Mideast Israel Palestinians
Palestinians Celebrate Historic Achievement…

Crowds were waving green flags of the Hamas movement, which inked the landmark exchange deal with the Israeli occupation. The atmosphere was festive, with some chanting “national unity, national unity” and clapping their hands.

A female Palestinian prisoner is welcome


Mideast Israel Palestinians

Hamas has declared Tuesday a national holiday and erected a giant podium in Gaza City’s Al-Katiba Park, where the prisoners appeared after they cross into the Palestinian enclave from Egypt

Mideast Israel Palestinians
Hamas Movement proved for another time that negotiations with the Israeli enemy won’t bear fruit and that what was taken by force can only be regained by force.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniya and members of the de facto Hamas government in Gaza, leaders of other factions, relatives and tens of thousands of onlookers welcomeed the prisoners and PA President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a speech in this occasion.

Gilad Shalit returned to his family on Tuesday after five years of being held captive. “Gilad has returned home,” the Israeli army’s chief spokesman Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai told reporters after the soldier crossed into Palestinian occupied territories after first being handed to Egyptian officials by Hamas. He described Shalit’s state of health as “good and satisfactory.”

Gilad Shalit (C) salutes Israeli Prime M
Shalit: Back to Arms

Shalit’s homecoming was kept far from the media eye, with the first glimpse of him being several seconds of footage from Egyptian state TV, which showed him wearing black baseball cap and a loose grey shirt.

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has said that the prisoner swap marks a positive step towards “peace”. “The recent announcement of the exchange of prisoners is welcome, it is a positive movement for peace,” he said.

Armed Palestinian Hamas militants keep p
Qassam Brigades: We will not rest until we close down occupation jails
Sinwar: we will free all captives

A free Palestine: Free from the River to the Sea

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

"I was 1-day-old when my father was jailed"

18 October 2011

Emotional scenes as Palestinian prisoners reunited with their loved ones today.

A very confusing feeling passes through me after hearing about the exchange of 1,027 Palestinian detainees for the only Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by the Palestinian resistance fighters. I don’t know whether to feel happy or sad.

Gazing at the faces of the prisoners’ families in the solidarity tent in Gaza City, I see a look that I have never seen before: eyes glittering with hope. These people have attended every event in solidarity with our detainees, have never given up hope that their freedom is inevitable someday, and have stayed strong during their loved ones’ absence inside Israeli cells. Thinking about those women whose relatives are most likely to be released and seeing their big smiles makes me happy. But at the same time, thinking about the other 5,000 detainees who will steadfastly go on with their resistance in the prisons makes my heart break for them.

Hearts aching for those still in jail

When I arrived at the tent on 12 October, the wife of the prisoner Nafez Herz, who was sentenced to life-long imprisonment and has been jailed for 26 years, shook hands with me and said very excitedly that she had heard that her husband would be freed. Then she said, “But you can’t imagine how much my heart aches for those families whose prisoner will not be released in this exchange deal. All prisoners’ families have become like one big family. We meet weekly, if not daily in the Red Cross, we share our torments, and we understand each other’s suffering.” I grabbed her hands and pressed them while saying, “We will never forget them, and God willing, they will gain their freedom soon.”
While I was writing this article among the crowd of people at the Red Cross building, I suddenly heard people chanting and clapping and could see a woman jumping with joy. While on the phone, she said loudly, “My husband is going to be free!” Her husband is Abu Thaer Ghneem, who received a life sentence and spent 22 years in prison. As I watched people celebrating and singing for the freedom of the Palestinian detainees, I met his only son, Thaer. He was hugging his mother tight while giving prayers to God showing their thankfulness. I touched his shoulder, attempting to get his attention. “Congratulations! How do you feel?” I asked him. “I was only one day old when my father was arrested, and now I am 22-years-old. I’ve always known that I had a father in prison, but never had him around. Now my father is finally going to be set free and fill his place, which has been empty over the course of 22 years of my life.”

His answer was very touching and left me shocked and admiring. While he was talking to me, I sensed how he couldn’t find words to describe his happiness at his father’s freedom.
The celebration continues for an hour. Then I return to my former confusion, feeling drowned in a stream of thoughts. The families of the 1,027 detainees will celebrate the freedom of their relatives, but what about the fate of the rest of the prisoners?

Don’t forget the hunger strike

I have heard lots of information since last night concerning the names of the soon-to-be-released prisoners, but it was hard to find two sources sharing the same news, especially about Ahmad Saadat and Marwan Barghouti and whether they are involved in the exchange deal. I’ve always felt spiritually connected to them, especially Saadat, as he is my father’s friend. I can’t handle thinking that he may not be involved in this exchange deal. He has had enough merciless torment inside Israeli solitary confinement for over two and a half years.

Let’s not forget those who are still inside the Israeli occupation’s prisons and who have been on hunger strike, as this hunger strike wasn’t held for an exchange deal, but for the Israeli Prison Service to meet the prisoners’ demands. The people who joined the hunger strike in Gaza City has included those with loved ones in prison. We have to speak out loudly and tell the world that Israel must address our living martyrs’ demands. We will never stop singing for the freedom of Palestinian detainees until the Israeli prisons are emptied.

Shahd Abusalama is an artist, blogger and English literature student from the Gaza Strip. Her blog is called Palestine from My Eyes.

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

What lessons do we learn from today´s prisoners exchange ??

The Liberator !!!

What lessons do we learn from today´s prisoners swap ??

at least four lessons :

The first,
is that we should take another half a dozen Israeli soldiers as new-prisoners and later exchange them for the rest of our political-prisoners in Israel´s hands.
( no other method worked,so far)

The second,
Israel still insists that all those swapped prisoners
were all “terrorists” therefore , we ought to accuse
Israel in the International Criminal Court ,
for releasing terrorists back into the normal life,
(thus, the crime of “assisting to terrorism”.)

The third ,
Gilat Shalit´s mother is worth 1027 Palestinian-mothers.
Because humanity, also, has “double-standards” !!
(sometimes extreme-double-standards )

Israeli parents can now send again their children
to besiege us and to bomb us ,without hesitations ,
because Nathaniahu always brings them back home
(home to a home which is not theirs…..)
Raja Chemayel
on a happier day !!

NB :
Remember please that it is Syria that is behind Hamas !!
Not Jordan nor Egypt nor Qatar nor Saudia nor Kuwait

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian

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