Palestinian sources reported that the recently elected Mayor of Qalqilia Wajeeh Qawwas is among the 400 prisoners slated to be released from Israeli jails.According to the Sharm A-Sheikh summit in February 2005, in which the Palestinians and the Israelis declared truce, Israel was supposed to hand over five Palestinian cities to the Palestinian authority and release 900 prisoners as good will gestures.
Qawwas was recently elected Mayor of Qalqilia while in prison and received the highest number of votes, in the local elections held on May 5.
His colleague and member of the new council of Qalqilia, Yasser Hammad, said "electing Qawwas is a sign of appreciation and respect to the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails."
The Palestinian prisoners are very much respected by their people, electing Qawwas as Mayor sends a message to the Israeli occupation that the prisoners are in the heart of the Palestinian Problem," Dr. Hashem Al-Masri, the deputy Mayor.
Al-Masri added, that the wife of the prisoner Raed Hotari was also elected member of the council.
Several Palestinian families expressed dissatisfaction with the criterion Israel used in selecting the names of those to be received, describing it as "moody, unserious and meant for publicity only"