Palestinian prisoner Iyad Abu Fannoun displaced to Gaza

abu-fannounPalestinian prisoner Iyad Abu Fannoun will be deported to the Gaza Strip today, July 4, reported Fuad Khuffash of Ahrar Centre. Abu Fannoun, 35, agreed to this through his lawyer on June 20, under threat of his former 20-year sentence being imposed upon him if he did not agree.

Abu Fannoun was released from occupation prisons after serving 9 years of his original 29-year sentence in the prisoner exchange of October 2011. He was re-arrested by the Israeli military on April 20, 2012. He was threatened to be sentenced to his original sentence period to serve another 20 years in Israeli prisons.

When Abu Fannoun, who was accused of membership in Hamas and its military wing, threatened to go on hunger strike, he was presented by the Ofer court with two options: deportation to Gaza for 10 years or imprisonment for 20 years.

Khuffash said that Abu Fannoun was released from Eshel prison and will arrive in the Gaza Strip within hours.

Long-term hunger striker Ayman Sharawna was forcibly deported to Gaza in March 2013, following upon forced deportations to Gaza in the prisoner exchange of October 2011 and the deportation of hunger striker Hana Shalabi.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights has highlighted examples of forced deportation practiced against Palestinians, including “the deportation of 40 Palestinian prisoners to other countries, and 163 others to the Gaza Strip in the context of the prisoners swap deal between Palestinian resistance groups and IOF, under which 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were released, in exchange for the release of an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, who had been captured by Palestinian resistance groups.” Forcible deportation is a form of collective punishment and reprisals prohibited under the Fourth Geneva Convention,  particularly Article 49 which prohibits “individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or nott,” notes PCHR, which has repeatedly called for deported or displaced Palestinian former prisoners to return to their homes.