[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA: It is a simple as this: regardless of the press
release that Mahmoud Abbas may issue in the wake of a particularly heinous
murder of Israeli civilians, Mr. Abbas believes Israel should free any
Palestinian they detain who was responsible for the act. That's release -
not transfer to the PA for prosecution and punishment.
So who is showing their commitment toward the peace process?
Question: Why is this incredibly disturbing position ignored?]
Freedom of Prisoners Determines Israel’s Commitment to Peace, says Abbas
By Malak Hasan
RAMALLAH, April 27, 2013 (WAFA- PLO news agency) – Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas Saturday said that the freedom of Palestinian prisoners in
Israeli jails is the scale that will determine Israel’s commitment toward
the peace process.
He said in a taped speech viewed at the opening session of the two-day
Freedom and Dignity conference held in Ramallah to mark 11 years since the
arrest of Fatah leader and lawmaker Marwan Barghouti and attended by a large
number of international figures that “the Israeli crimes will not go by
“Palestine is a non-member observer state at the United Nations and we have
the freedom to take legal action at any international forum,” he said.
Delegations of over 100 internationals from Europe, Africa and Latin America
arrived in Ramallah on Friday to participate in a 6-day tour of the West
Bank and Jerusalem to discuss issues related to the Palestinian prisoners
and their conditions in Israeli jails.
Outgoing Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that this meeting is a proof that
prisoners do not stand alone in the world. He said that the time has come to
end Israeli violations of their rights.
Vice President of the European Parliament Isabelle Durant said the European
Union continues to follow with concern the prisoners’ issue and makes rather
immense efforts to set them free.
She said in the speech presented on behalf of the EP president, Martin
Schulz, that Israel must be held accountable when prisoners are being
detained without charge or trial because it becomes an issue of human
Barghouti’s wife, Fadwa, read a letter from her husband in which he mainly
called for translating Palestine’s UN membership into a reality.
Former US President Jimmy Carter expressed solidarity with the Palestinian
prisoners in a videotaped speech and highlighted the importance of freedom
of prisoners for peace.
He said that the construction of settlements in the Palestinian Territory
must stop and all the illegal settlements must be removed.
He also called on the Palestinians to form their unity government and hold
elections to reunite their leadership.
Member of the South African National Congress (ANC), Ahmed Deedat, spoke at
the meeting of his experience in prison during the apartheid rule of South
Africa comparing between the situation in Palestine and in then South
He called for further support to the Palestinian prisoners saying that the
similarity between Israel’s rule over the Palestinians and South Africa’s
apartheid period is that both have “a common purpose in oppressing people
who they don’t agree with.”
Minister of Prisoners Issa Qaraqi briefed the audience on violations in
Israeli prisons and outside.
He spoke about torture in Israeli jails, sexual harassment, arrest of
minors, and house arrests.
Qaraqi insisted that as long as Israel continues to hold Palestinians in
jail, no peace will be accomplished.