Recently, a website affiliated with Hamas published a list of names of some detainees that Hamas is requesting to be freed as part of a prisoner-swap deal between Israel and Palestinian fighters who have been holding the Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit captive since June 2006. Israeli online daily, Haaretz, said that the website published a list of 45 names of detainees that Hamas demands the release of.
The list includes Hasan Yousef, a Palestinian legislator from Hamas, Ahmad Sa’adat, Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi.
Israel claims that Sa’adat ordered the assassination of the Israeli cabinet minister, Rehavam Ze'evi, in 2002. Also, Israel claims that Barghouthi, who is sentenced to five life terms, is behind the planning of several attacks against Israeli targets.
The list also includes Abdullah Barghouthi, one of the members of the Al Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in addition to Yahia Sinwar, and Hasan Salama, also members of the Hamas armed wing.
The Israeli security claims that Sinwar “planned a wave of bombings” after Israel assassinated Yahia Ayyash, known as the Engineer for his involvement in manufacturing explosive belts for bombers.
Moreover, Hamas demands the release of Sheikh Abdul-Haq Al Natsha, one of its political leaders, Rawhi Mshaha, one of the founders of the Hamas armed wing who has been imprisoned for 20 years, Na’el Barghouthi, who is believed to be behind the planning of bombings carried out in 2002, and Bassam Al Sa’ady, one of the top leaders of the Islamic Jihad in the West Bank, and Fuad Al Shobaky, who is believed to be behind the financing of the Karine-A boat which Israeli caught as it was heading to the Gaza Strip after it was filled with guns, explosives and other combat weapons.
Haaretz added that many of the people listed have been imprisoned by Israel for many years, some of them were imprisoned in the 1970’s and the 1980’s.
Palestinian sources involved in the prisoner-swap talks reported that Israel has agreed to release what it calls “prisoners with blood on their hands” in addition to detainees who were arrested before Israeli and the Palestinian Liberation Organization singed the Oslo peace accord in 1993.
Cairo has been acting as a mediator between Israel and the Palestinians in the prisoner-swap talks.
Meanwhile, Israeli officials confirmed that progress was made in the talks, but stated that there are still some conflicting issues that need to be resolved.
Several Israeli officials, including the Prime Minister and the Defense Minister, reputedly stated that Israel will not release prisoners involved in killing Israelis.