[Pnews] Palestinians campaign to release oldest prisoner held in Israeli jail

Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jan 14 14:52:15 EST 2020


  Palestinians campaign to release oldest prisoner held in Israeli jail

January 14, 2020

The family of Fuad al-Shobaki, a former senior general in the PA's 
security forces, say his health has rapidly deteriorated and he should 
be let go

Fuad al-Shobaki, 81, has three years left on a 17-year sentence 

Published date: 14 January 2020 16:42 UTC | Last update: 3 hours 3 min ago

Palestinian activists launched a campaign on Tuesday to release 81-year 
old Fuad al-Shobaki, the oldest Palestinian prisoner currently held in 
an Israeli jail, local media reported.

Shobaki was a senior general in the Palestinian Authority's security 
forces, a senior Fatah leader and also a financial consultant for late 
PA President Yasser Arafat.

In 2002, the PA arrested him on charges that he had masterminded**the 
Karen A, a ship that carried weapons from Iran at the height of the 
Second Intifada and was seized by the Israeli marine forces.

Shobaki was held at the Palestinian prison in Jericho under American and 
British observation.

    'I am telling you that I am the next prison martyr'

    - /Fuad al-Shobaki/

Then in 2006, Israeli forces stormed the Jericho prison and 
kidnapped the Palestinian, who then faced a trial in an Israeli military 
court over the Karen A charges, which he denied. He was eventually 
sentenced to 20 years in jail, later decreased to 17.

Shobaki has three years of this sentence left to serve. While family 
members regularly visit to cheer him up, they say they are concerned 
that his health has rapidly deteriorated and are calling for his release.

Shobaki's son Hazem told Arab 48 news site 
that his father now depends on fellow prisoners to assist him from his 
bed even short distances to the toilet or the kitchen.

Shobaki has previously survived prostate cancer and recently underwent 
surgery for glaucoma, but his eyesight has declined since then.

In a letter leaked to the media in December, Shobaki criticised the PA 
and the Fatah movement for ignoring him in his prison cell.

“Today, I feel sad that you do not even mention my name in your 
meetings. Is there anyone from the leadership who is asking about me or 
calling on popular or international movements to release me?” Shobaki wrote.

“I am telling you that I am the next prison martyr. Shame on you 
for sitting in chairs that you do not deserve," he wrote.

According to prisoner rights group Hurryyat <https://www.hurryyat.net/>, 
there are around 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, with an 
estimated 700 suffering from various illnesses and diseases. Eighteen 
others are permanently hospitalised in Ramleh prison clinic.

In 2019, five Palestinians died inside Israeli prisons, including Sami 
Abu Diak who died in November after battling cancer.

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