The Palestinian Center for Defending the Detainees slammed on Monday the statements of the Israeli Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, and the statements of Israel’s Minister of Trade, Eli Yishai, regarding rejecting any truce offer from Hamas without first freeing Shalit.The Center said that Israel should first free Palestinian detainees who are facing harsh conditions and ongoing abuse before the Palestinian fighters release the captured corporal Gilad Shalit.

The Center demanded Barak, Yshai and the Israeli government to release all Palestinian and Arab detainees who are imprisoned by Israel and are facing daily hardships, violations, humiliation and medical negligence.

Furthermore, the Center said that Barak and Yshai are demanding the release of Shalit while ignoring the suffering of more than 12000 Palestinian detainees, including 350 children, 99 women, 1300 sick detainees, more than 50 legislators and the 195 detainees who died due to torture and medical negligence.

The Center called on the fighters, who are holding Shalit captive, to remain steadfast with their demands, and added that thousands of detainees and their families have hopes and expectations for a prisoner swap deal.

The Center saluted all local and Arab efforts in order to achieve a prisoner swap deal, and called for highlighting the issue of the detainees as they are one of the core issues in any peace deal.