Life sentences reimposed on six Palestinian prisoners released in exchange

The six Palestinians whose sentences were re-imposed. Via Wattan TV
The six Palestinians whose sentences were re-imposed. Via Wattan TV

An occupation military court re-sentenced six former prisoners, released in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange, re-imposing their original life sentences, in a hearing on July 15. These six Palestinian political prisoners are Adnan Maragha, Ismail Hijazi, Alaa Bazian, Nasser Abed Rabbo, Jamal Abu Saleh, Rajab al-Tahan. All six are from occupied Jerusalem.

They were released in 2011 following an exchange agreement between Hamas and the Israeli state which saw captured occupation soldier Gilad Shalit released in exchange for 1024 Palestinian prisoners. As part of its campaign of arrests and persecution since June 12, occupation forces have seized many former prisoners, including 60 released in the Wafa al-Ahrar agreement. Three of the men, Adnan Maragha, Alaa Bazian and Nasser Abed Rabbo are pre-Oslo prisoners, meaning they were arrested and have been held before the implementation of the Oslo accords in 1994. Release of all pre-Oslo prisoners has been a Palestinian demand for over 20 years.

The Palestinian Prisoners Society that four former prisoners re-arrested following June 12 will have hearings today: Ahmad Al-Awawdeh, Khaled Makhamra, Mahdi Al-Assi, and Samer Issawi, whose 270-day hunger strike drew massive Palestinian, Arab and international attention – helping to secure his 2013 release – the last time occupation forces attempted to re-impose his sentence, claiming he had left the boundaries of Jerusalem without permission.

The “hearings” conducted in these cases involved lengthy closed sessions with prosecutors and the Shin Bet presenting “secret evidence” to the court before short public hearings at which the defense can present. The six were accused of having “contact” with organizations the Israeli state deems to be prohibited and “hostile,” including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, four major Palestinian political parties with members and supporters in nearly every Palestinian town and family.

Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network notes that these arrests are entirely political and an attempt to dictate that no Palestinian shall ever be truly free and that the prison bars are never taken away for any Palestinian prisoner; it is also an attempt to undermine the Palestinian resistance and the successes it has achieved in freeing prisoners. As Israeli occupation forces have killed over 200 people in Gaza with their bombing raids in the past week, the occupation is seeking to kill prisoners with the slow death of re-imposed life sentences for “violation of release conditions.” This also makes clear once again that the courts are part and parcel of the structure of occupation and oppression that Palestinians confront and not a mechanism for justice.

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List of the prisoners released in the 2011 exchange deal who have been arrested in the last two weeks

Re-arrested pre-Oslo prisoners
1. Nael Barghouthi
2. Nidal Zaloum
3. Abd El-Men’em Othman To’meh
4. Majdi Atieh Suleiman ‘Ajouli
5. Ayed Khalil
6. Samer El-Mahroum
7. Alaa El-Bazyan
8. Adnan Maragha
9. Ibrahim Mesh’aal
10. Nasser Abedrabbo
11. Othman Musleh

12. Safwan Al-‘Ewaiwi
13. Rabee’ Barghouthi
14. Suleiman Abu Eid
15. Ibrahim Shalash
16. Ibrahim Al-Masri
17. Zuheir Sakafi
18. Ahmad Al-‘awawdeh
19. Bassam Na’im Al-Natsheh
20. Mahmoud Al-Swaiti
21. Mu’amar Al-Ja’bari
22. Khaled Makhamra
23. Abbas Shabaneh
24. Rasmi Maharik
25. Nayef Shawamreh
26. Na’eem Masalmeh
27. Mu’az Abu Rmouz
28. Amer Moqbel
29. Ashraf Al-Wawi
30. Muhamad Barakat
31. Moayad Jalad
32. Ya’koub Al-Kilani
33. Aref Fakhouri
34. Waheeb Abu Al-Rob
35. Muhamad Saleh El-Rishek
36. Mu’amar Ghawadra
37. Imad Mussa
38. Abdelrahman Salah
39. Ashraf Abu El-Rob
40. Wael Jalboush
41. Nidal Abdelhaq
42. Taha Al-Shakhsheer
43. Zaher Khatatbeh
44. Hamza Abu Arkoub
45. Mahdi El-Assi
46. Shadi Zayed
47. Ibrahim Salim
48. Jamal Abu Saleh
49. Isama’il Hijazi
50. Rajab Tahan
51. Samer Issawi
52. Khader Radee
53. Imad Fatouni
54. Muhamad Issa Awad
55. Suleiman Abu Seif
56. Amjad Abdelkarim Khaldi
57. Ahmad Hamad
58. Khaled Ghizan
59. Bushra Al-Taweel
60. Nizar Taqatqa