The Prime Minister of the dissolved government of the Palestinian people, Ismail Haniyya, stated Monday that the Palestinian people will soon celebrate a dignified prisoner swap deal, adding that the Hamas party will not concede any of their demands until the detainees are freed.
Haniyya's statement came during a ceremony at the Ministry of Detainees in Gaza, where he described the detainees as “the leaders of the resistance movement which fights for Palestinian rights”. He also challenged the Israeli abduction of Palestinian legislator Mona Mansour, as well as several prominent West Bank businessmen, on Thursday, and the ongoing daily abduction campaigns in Nablus, saying that these actions prove the bankruptcy of Israeli policies and promises.
He stated that his government pledges to pay the families of all Palestinian detainees $500 during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Israel is currently holding over 10,000 Palestinians as political prisoners in open-air camps inside Israel. Egyptian mediators have been working for months with Palestinian resistance leaders and Israeli authorities to try to negotiate a prisoner exchange that would allow some Palestinian political prisoners to return home in exchange for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
In addition, Taher al-Nunu, the spokesperson for the Hamas government led by Haniyya, called on foreign governments to intervene to demand that Israel release the Palestinian legislators of the Hamas government, which were abducted by Israeli forces after the government was duly elected by the Palestinian people. He said that the international community should deal with Israel as an outlaw state, and also called on the unelected Abbas government, which is currently ruling in the West Bank, to end its coordination with the Israeli occupation authorities.