The Jerusalemite prisoners in Gilboa prison, former prisoners released in the Wafa al-Ahrar prisoner exchange in 2011 and re-arrested in June 2014 and after, released a statement through lawyer Jawad Boulos on Sunday, 7 December, stating their rejection of expulsion from Jerusalem or any other deal that sacrifices their rights to Jerusalem.

The prisoners stated that they are hostages held by the occupying power and they will accept no agreement but their release and return to Jerusalem. Boulos met with three of the prisoners, Hossam Shahin, Aref Fakhoury, and Samer Issawi, the latter of which was previously released after a 267 day hunger strike when previously re-arrested which drew widespread international support. Samer’s brother, Medhat, and sister Shireen are both currently held in occupation prisons.

In related news, the prisoners from Jerusalem formed a coordinating committee to address matters related to prisoners from Jerusalem in Israeli jails; this action is being taken because of the special conditions in which they live and following the mass arrest campaigns by occupation forces in Jerusalem, which has led to a sudden rise in their numbers in occupation prisons. The committee will include prisoners Hussam Shaheen, Bashar al-Khatib, Mohammed Abad, Dargham al-Araj and Hossam Shehadeh and will coordinate with all other prisoners’ committees. In addition, Boulos reported that Gilboa prison is currently isolating 8 prisoners after claiming to have discovered a mobile phone in one room.