[Ppnews] Details of Israeli-Palestinian Prisoner Exchange Emerge

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Sep 4 08:53:43 EDT 2006


Details of Israeli-Palestinian Prisoner Exchange Emerge

Date: 03 / 09 / 2006 Time: 13:04

Bethlehem – Ma'an –

Israeli political and security sources confirmed 
reports on Sunday of the existence of a deal to 
exchange prisoners. The exchange is believed to 
involve the release of the captive Israeli 
soldier Gil'ad Shalit, in exchange for fewer than 
a tenth of Palestinian prisoners that Israel has detained.

According to Israeli sources, the Egyptian 
mediation team members  are the actors in this 
field and the exchange will take place over three 
consecutive stages, lasting a period of weeks, 
but not months, as the government of Olmert has previously demanded.

Israel was offered a deal for the exchange of 
prisoners, based primarily on the good faith of 
Israel, but the resistance in Gaza rejected the 
goodwill of Israel, as it is considered a check 
without a deposit or available balance.

Despite that, the Prime Minister of Israel said 
more than once on Israeli television, that he 
would not release Palestinian prisoners, "never, 
never, never." His government, however, had 
already started negotiations to return the 
captive soldier, Shalit, who is thought to have 
been detained at the resistance prison in Gaza over the last two months.

The Israeli official heading the negotiations and 
the exchange is Oufar Dikil, who has been moving 
between Cairo and Berlin to complete the deal.

The father of Gil'ad Shalit said to the Israeli 
Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper that he hoped that 
these negotiations would bear fruit and that the 
return of his son safely. According to a leak of 
the deal, the release of 800 Palestinian prisoners that will be in stages:

The first stage: Israel releases 300 prisoners 
and after a few days the Palestinian resistance releases Corporal Shalit.

The second stage: after a couple of months, 
Israel releases 300 prisoners more.

The third stage: to come at the end of the, 
Israel releases a further 200 Palestinian 
prisoners. Israel still refuses to include the 
prisoner Marwan Al Barghouthi or the Lebanese prisoner Samir Al-Qintar.

Yedioth Ahronoth also stated that Israeli 
security delegations visited Cairo in August and 
held lengthy talks with Egyptian Intelligence 
Minister, Omar Sulaiman, who has been mediating 
to complete the deal. The newspaper says that the 
negotiations of Olmert and Oufar Dikil have taken secret until now.

The Palestinian side in the negotiations is less 
concerned with the number of prisoners that the 
deal will include, as they as they are more 
concerned with the overall quality of the deal 
and its political and moral value.

Over half of the Palestinian political prisoners 
in Israeli occupation prisons (about 10,000 
prisoners), are due for release within the coming 
three years due to the end of their sentences. 
The priority for the Palestinians is to see those prisoners released who are:

1. Children, women, and infirm prisoners.

2. Prisoners who have spent , or are due to 
spend, at least ten years in the Israeli jails.

In addition, Palestinians wish to see the release 
of the symbols of political struggle who were 
engaged in public awareness, such as the deputies 
Hussam Khader and Marwan Al-Barghouthi, the 
secretary-generals such as Ahmed Sa'adat, Rakad 
Salem and Abdel Rahim Malluh and leaders of Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad .

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