Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in Ankara on Tuesday night
with 11 prisoners who were released in the recent prisoner exchange between
Israel and Hamas.
One of them was Amneh Muna, the woman who lured
16-year-old Ofir Rahum to Ramallah, where he was murdered in 2001.
41 Palestinian prisoners exiled to foreign states
550 Palestinians released completing Schalit deal
who was originally supposed to be deported to the Gaza Strip, refused to go
there out of fear of being harassed by Hamas. Some Hamas inmates who were with
her in prison accused her of assaulting and intimidating them.
the prisoners that they were at the top of PA leadership’s list of priorities.
He said that the issue was being raised in all meetings between PA officials and
Abbas, according to a statement released by his office,
“praised the prisoners for remaining steadfast in the face of Israeli wardens’
mastery.” He also briefed the released prisoners on the latest developments in
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s spokesman Mark Regev said
the Prime Minister’s Office was “disappointed” by Abbas’s “unfortunate decision”
to meet Muna.
“Instead of promoting peace and reconciliation, the
Palestinian leadership seems to be putting extremist murderers up on a
pedestal,” he said. “This raises serious questions as to their commitment and as
to their desire to end the conflict.”
A senior aide to Abbas rejected
Israeli criticism of the meeting between Abbas and the former prisoners and
accused the Israeli government of searching for excuses to sabotage the peace
process.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.