[Pnews] Israeli forces rearrest Palestinian man celebrating release after 20 years in prison
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Wed Mar 31 11:32:38 EDT 2021
forces rearrest Palestinian man celebrating release after 20 years in
Magd Barbar's welcome home party raided by the Israeli military, who
wounded several Palestinians, before releasing him again on Wednesday
Magd Barbar, a Palestinian prisoner from the occupied East Jerusalem,
reunited with his wife Fatmeh, and his son and daughter after 20 years in
Israeli jails (Social Media)
Published date: 31 March 2021 14:01 UTC | Last update: 1 hour 20 mins ago
The scenes of jubilation following the Tuesday release of Magd Barbar, a
Palestinian man who spent 20 years in jail, were brought to an abrupt and
violent halt that night when he was rearrested by Israeli forces.
Barbar was later released on Wednesday afternoon, the Handala Center NGO
The 45-year-old was first arrested in 2001 at the peak of the Second
Intifada, and was charged with belonging to the Popular Front for
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Marxist-Leninist group, and plotting
military acts against Israeli targets. When he was arrested, Barbar was
forced to leave behind a 15-day-old daughter and two-year-old son.
Israeli forces raided Barbar’s home on Tuesday evening while hosting guests
and relatives who came to visit him. Palestine’s Red Crescent reported that
12 people were wounded by rubber-coated bullets, tear-gas suffocation and
Israeli forces also raided Qasr al-Hamra hall in the East Jerusalem suburb
of Eizariya where Barbar planned to host a lunch for friends and
relatives the next day, as people eagerly sought to receive him after two
decades in prison.
Izz, Barbar’s brother, told media
Israeli forces asked the family to get rid of all welcoming signs in the
house on Tuesday, before returning in numbers to raid the home and rearrest
In video footage of Barbar leaving custody on Wednesday, the former
prisoner said he refused an Israeli request to leave his home in East
Jerusalem's Ras al-Amoud for five days, without elaborating on where they
wanted to send him or why.
On Monday, after reuniting with his family and wife, Fatmeh, Barbar said:
"For a person who believes in the justice of the Palestinian cause, a
prison cannot break him, no matter how long it lasts, and I was reconciled
with this idea of the length of my prison sentence and with all its
oppression and my exclusion from my family, my wife and my children."
“The Palestinian people cannot think of an option other than to hold fast
in their land, and to stand in it like the olive tree. We will not leave
this land no matter what [Israelis] did, from killings to demolishing
homes," Barbar added.
Barbar told media that his wife Fatmeh "means the world to me. She is my
home. She was able to give our children for 20 years. This is the greatness
of the Palestinian woman."
His rearrest generated strong reactions on social media. Ghada Oueiss, a
Lebanese Al Jazeera anchor, said on Facebook
<https://www.facebook.com/ghadaoueiss14/posts/3880431822070895> that the
Israelis arrested Barbar "because they couldn't stand Palestinian
celebrations of his release. They arrested him because he and his family
rejoiced... and because occupation is ugly and hates everything beautiful."
According to Palestinian prisoners' rights group Addameer, 4,400
Palestinians were being detained by Israel as of March
<http://www.addameer.org/statistics>, with 33 of them serving more than 25
years and 57 serving more than 20 years. Three hundred prisoners are from
occupied East Jerusalem, like Barbar.
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