The Israeli Daily Ma’areev published Sunday a list of names of the would-be released Palestinian prisoners in the framework of a likely Palestinian-Israeli prisoner swap deal.
Ma’areev named 11 leading political prisoners including nine from Hamas, identified as Yehya Alsenwar, Mohammad Sharatha, Mohammad Dukhan, Eid Mesleh, Naser Dwedar, Ahmad Abu Elkaf, Hazem Alaodi, Mana Ghanem and Jamal Aqel.
The list, presented by Hamas to the Egyptian security delegation, also included Marwan Albarghouti, senior Fatah leader and Ahmad Sa’adat, secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Hamas had presented a list of 1300 prisoners including 45 Palestinian ministers and MPs which Israel abducted last summer in a bid to undermine the then Hamas-led government.
The prisoner swap is intending to facilitate the release of Israeli corporal Gil’ad Shalit, captured in Gaza by resistance groups linked to Hamas on June 25th 2006. Palestinian information minister, Mustafa Barghouti, told reporters yesterday that the Palestinians handed out the list to the Egyptian security mediators and that the ‘ball now is in Israel’s court’.
Israeli daily Haaretz reported Saturday that an Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed reports on the potential release of Shalit, yet he did not elaborate on the issue. Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, affirmed on Friday that Shalit could be released very soon.
Israel continues to imprison 10,000 Palestinians including 320 women and dozens of children in various prisons and detention centers. Hundreds of these priosners serve long-term sentences, while hundreds others are being kept in custody without trial.