The Palestinian Ministry of Detainees reported Saturday that after releasing the 20 female detainees in exchange for a videotape of Shalit, Israel will still be holding captive 40 Palestinian women in its detention facilities.Israel said it would release 19 female detainees from the West Bank and one from Gaza, in exchange for a video tape proving that Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, captured by the resistance in June 2006, if alive and well.
Riyadh Al Ashqar, head of the Information Department at the Ministry, said that the ‘joy of the release of the female detainees should not make us forget that Israel is still holding captive several female detainees who should be freed”.
He added that the detainees are deprived from their basic rights and subjected to ongoing violations.
Al Ashqar further stated that most of the underage female detainees were released in the deal, expect Samah Samadah, who was kidnapped in the West Bank city in December of 2008 and was sentenced to one year imprisonment.
The official stated that there are five female prisoners who were sentenced to life-terms, including Ahlam Al Tamimi who was sentenced to 16 life terms.
There are twelve female detainees who need urgent medical attention, including Amal Jum’a, who is in a serious condition due to cancer, and Wafa’ Samir who suffered severe burns before she was kidnapped by the army.
Al Asqhar said that any future prisoner-swap deal should secure the release of all female and underage detainees, even if this issue would cause further delays in achieving a swap deal.