Gaza City, 6 Shawwal 1434/12 August 2013 (MINA) – The official list of prisoners to be released on Tuesday published by the Israel Prison Service included 26 prisoners, all held since before the Oslo agreement signed in 1993 with the exception of one prisoner arrested in 2001, a researcher on prisoners said Monday.

       Abdul Nasser Farawneh, director of the Department of Statistics at the Ministry of Prisoners, said the list included the names of 15 prisoners from the Gaza Strip and 11 from the West Bank and they come from various nationalist and Islamic factions including Fatah, who make up the majority of those to be released in the first stage, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

       The names of the prisoners were released on the Israel Prisons Service website after the families of the victims were notified of the pending release. The public now has 48 hours to appeal the release.

        The first 26 Palestinian prisoners on the Israel Prisons Service list do not include any Israeli citizens. Number 26 on the prisoner list is a man reportedly arrested in February 2001, contradicting statements that prisoners were to be pre-Oslo detainees, according to Alray, Palestinian Media Agency and reports monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

        Fourteen of the 26 Palestinian prisoners are to be released to the Gaza Strip, and the remaining 12 will go to the West Bank, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement close to midnight.

        Eight of those to be released were in any event to be released over the next three years, with two of them up for release within the next six months.

       Three of the five ministers authorized by the cabinet two weeks ago to draw up the list of 26 prisoners to be released in four stages over the next nine months of negotiations met late Sunday night to come up with the names.

A Palestinian man during protest to demand the release of prisoners (AFP/File, Mahmud Hams)        Officials on Sunday night confirmed that 26 of the 104 pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners will be released before Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat meet Wednesday in Jerusalem to begin talks.

        The meeting was chaired by Moshe Ya’alon (Likud), and also included Livni (Hatnua) and Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) a former head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). Two other members of the committee were absent: Netanyahu, because of his operation, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Israel Beytenu), who is abroad.

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         In addition, Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen, as well as representatives from the Israel Prison Service, the IDF and Justice Ministry took part in the deliberations. It was stressed during the meeting that any of the released prisoners arrested again for hostile action against Israel would be sent back to prison for the remainder of his original sentence.

         Responding to the move, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that no released Palestinian prisoner will be deported “from any part of his homeland,” confirming that although some prisoners are to return to the West Bank, others are to be transferred to the Gaza Strip.

        In a meeting at the presidential headquarters in Ramallah with Ramallah Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqi, Abbas stressed the continued effort on the part of the authority in releasing all detainees held in Israeli jails, stating the issue was of “top priority” for the PA, their official news agency Wafa reported.

       Qaraqi, for his part, confirmed that 26 prisoners are to be freed on August 13, where they will be officially received at the presidential residence by Abbas and their families.

        The list does not include any one from East Jerusalem or from inside Israel.

        Farawneh said 17 prisoners were serving life terms while the remaining nine were serving sentences ranging from 20 to 25 years, which means they have less than five years left in their sentence, including one prisoner with four-and-a-half years, one with three years, two with two years and five with several months.

       Among the prisoners, 19 have been held for 20 years and over, among them four have been held for 23 years, another has been held for 24 years, one held for 28   years and six have been held for between 19 and 20 years.

        One of the prisoners to be released was arrested in 1985, four arrested in 1989, three arrested in 1990, one in 1991, two in 1992, eight in 1993, six in 1994 and one prisoner was arrested in 2001.

        Among the prisoners, 22 were between 40 and 55 years of age and four less than 40 years. Nine are married and the rest not married. In addition, five prisoners were less than 18 years when they were arrested and 11 prisoners had spent time in prison more than they spent outside.

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       In a move labeled by Israeli government officials as a ‘goodwill’ gesture, but questioned by the families of the over 4,000 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel as a public relations stunt, just 12 prisoners will be released on Tuesday, with an additional 14 to be exiled to the Gaza Strip.

       In the past, such prisoner releases have involved hundreds of imprisoned Palestinians, but this time, the Israeli government has approved just 12 prisoners for full release. An additional 14 Palestinian prisoners will be exiled to the Gaza Strip, unable to return to their families and homes in the West Bank.

       Israeli forces engage in daily raids of Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps, abducting sometimes dozens of people each day. So Palestinian prisoner advocacy groups say that the release of a dozen prisoners is rather disingenuous on the Israeli government’s part, since the Israeli military usually abducts that many in a single day.

         Despite the low number of prisoners to be released, Israeli victims of Palestinian attacks held a protest to challenge the release of any Palestinian prisoners. They also filed an appeal with the Israeli government committee that approved the release.

         Although most of the Palestinians on the list were imprisoned for killing Israelis, prisoner rights advocates in Palestine point out that Palestinians are often convicted based on circumstantial evidence and without proper legal representation. Many Palestinian prisoners have also been forced to ‘confess’ through the use of torture techniques. The prison advocacy organization Addameer has documented the extensive and routine use of torture in the interrogations of Palestinian prisoners.

         According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahranoth, the prisoners to be released or exiled on Tuesday are the following:

1. Kor Mattawa Hamad Faiz, jailed since ’85, for the murder of Menahem Dadon and attempted murder of Salomon Abukasis.

2. Salah Ibrahim Ahmad Mughdad, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Israel Tenenbaum.

3. Na’anish Naif Abdel Jafar Samir, jailed since ’89, for the murder of Binyamin Meisner.

4. Arshid A. Hamid Yusef Yusef, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Nadal Rabu Ja’ab, Adnan Ajad Dib, Mufid Cana’an, Tawafiq Jaradat and Ibrahim Sa’id Ziwad.

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5. Al Haj Othman Amar Mustafa, jailed since ’89, for the murder Steven Frederick Rosenfeld.

6. Maslah Abdallah Salama Salma, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Reuven David.

7. Abu Moussa Salam Ali Atiya, jailed since ’94, for the murder Isaac Rotenberg.

8. Maqlad Mahmoud Zayd Salah, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Yeshayahu Deutsch.

9. Sawalha Bad Almajed Mahmad Mahmad, jailed since ’93 for the murder of Baruch Heisler, and attempted murder of Betty Malka, Shai Cohen, Avishag Cohen.

10. Shaath Azath Shaaban Attaf, jailed since ’93, for being the accessory to the murder of Simcha Levy.

11. Abdel Aal Sa’id Ouda Yusef, jailed since ’94, for throwing explosives, accessory to the murder of Ian Feinberg and Sami Ramadan.

12. Barbakh Faiz Rajab Madhat, jailed since ’94, for the murder of Moshe Beker.

13. Raai Ibrahim Salam Ali, jailed since ’94, for the murder of Moris Eisenstatt.

14. Nashbat Jabar Yusef Mahmad, jailed since ’90, for being an accessory to the murder of Amnon Pomerantz.

15. Mortja Hasin Ganim Samir, jailed since ’93, for abduction, interrogation through torture, and murder of Samir Alsilawi, Khaled Malka, Nasser Aqila, Ali al Zaabot.

16. Sawalha Faz Ahmad Husni, jailed since ’90, for the murder of Heisler Baruch.

17. Ramahi Salah Abdallah Faraj, jailed since ’92, for the murder of Avraham Kinstler.

18. Abu Satta Ahmad Sa’id Aladdin, jailed since 1994, for the murder of David Dadi and Hayim Weizman.

19. Abu Sita Talab Mahmad Ayman, jailed since 1994, for the murder of David Dadi and Hayim Weizman.

20. Mansour Omar Abdel Hafiz Asmat, jailed since 1993, for being an accessory to the murder of Hayim Mizrahi.

21. Asqara Mahmad Ahmad Khaled, jailed in ’91, for the murder of Annie Ley.

22. Janadiya Yusef Radwan Nahad, jailed since ’89, for the murder of Zalman Shlein.

23. Hamadiah Mahmoud Awad Muhammad, jailed since ’89, for the murder of Zalman Shlein.

24. Abdel Nabi A. Wahab Jamal Jamil, jailed since ’92, for the murder of Shmuel Gersh.

25. Ziwad Muhammad Taher Taher, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Avraham Cohen.

26. Sabih Abed Hamed Borhan, jailed since ’01, for the murder of Jamil Muhammad Naim Sabih, Aisha Abdullah Haradin. (T/P02/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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