Palestinian on bus 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem )
RAMALLAH – Palestinians expressed mixed emotions about the prisoner swap, on the
eve of the release of the first wave of prisoners in exchange for IDF soldier
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The families of prisoners due to be released showed
happiness. Suhier, wife of Mustafa Badrneh, who is expected to be released
tomorrow, said, “We can’t wait for him to be back home after eight years in
However, Nadia Zubi, mother of prisoner Hatem Jayoussi from
Tulkarm, south of the West Bank, said that Hamas included a few prisoners from
other political movements in the swap deal.
Her son, a Fatah member who
has served 10 years of his 55-year sentence, is not one of the prisoners
expected to be released as part of this swap.
Zubi said that around 50
Fatah members are included in the deal, and a few from other movements, while
the majority are from Hamas.
At the Ramallah rally supporting prisoners
in their hunger strike today, Naji Abu Hmaid, 53, said the timing of the deal
The released prisoner told a crowd that Hamas was offered
this deal twoand- half-years ago, but refused it, and said the timing has a
strong indication of Hamas’s intentions.
Abu Hmaid said Hamas wants to
sabotage the prisoners’ hunger strike by agreeing on this deal.
wants to break the unanimity of the Palestinian decision,” he said.
people think that Hamas wants to boost its lessening popularity, implying that
Hamas’s deal with Israel comes at a time when the popularity of Abbas is rising
after his speech at the UN in September.
Popular Front for the Liberation
of Palestine leader Abed Al Rahim Malouh told the crowd not to think of the swap
details, asking instead that they be happy that prisoners are being released
from Israel. He said this is a time to show solidarity with prisoners holding a
Civil servant Thaer Deek said that the deal holds two
dimensions: one is that releasing any prisoner, even one, is considered an
achievement; but that exiling them to Gaza or other countries is not very
Rawan Hamdi said “we were under the impression that all
prisoners serving life or high sentences will be released, but we’re surprised
to learn that our relative will not be part of the swap.”
brothers are in Israeli prisons.
“There are many shortcomings to the
deal,” she added.
Chief of the High Committee on Palestinian Prisoners’
Affairs, Amin Shoman, told The Jerusalem Post that people are sensitive during
“There are 5,000 prisoners left, and their families must be
emotional,” he said.
The Hamas leader in the West Bank, Hassan Yousef,
told the Post
that the negotiating team of Hamas tried its best.
the best deal possible. We know we will not satisfy all people, and we will keep
struggling to have our rights back,” he said.