‘Abla Sa’adat, the wife of the detained Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was allowed to visit her husband Sunday, for the first time after three years of solitary confinement. ‘Abla stated that her husband has high morale despite the suffering and the hunger strikes he has undergone.
Sa’adat was recently released from solitary confinement after the latest hunger strike conducted by over 2,000 detainees demanding their legitimate rights guaranteed by International Law, including their right to family visits.
His wife said that Sa’adat’s body is weak, with a declining health condition, but added that he is filled with determination and pride.
The PFLP secretary general has been on hunger strike twice over the last three years; once for 22 days, and in the most recent strike, along with thousands of other detainees, for 28 days.
‘Abla stated that Sa’adat seemed very happy for the success of the most recent hunger strike that led to removing him from solitary confinement.
Sa’adat was among twenty detained leaders held in solitary confinement deprived from communication with the rest of the detainees, and the rest of the world. They were only allowed to see their lawyers very occasionally, and in many cases, they were denied this right.
Ahmad Sa’adat is a Palestinian refugee who has spent nearly half of his life behind bars in Israeli prisons.
In 2006, Sa’adat was abducted by Israeli troops from the Jericho Palestinian prison where he had been confined, along with several other political figures; the prison compound was guarded by American and British guards who left the compound just before Israel invaded Jericho and took the prisoners.
The leftist leader had been imprisoned in 2004 after taking shelter at the headquarters of late President Yasser Arafat which was besieged by Israeli troops at the time. He was charged, along with several others, with plotting the assassination of Israel’s Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi, who was killed on October 17, 2001.
In addition to Sa’adat, Majdi Ar-Reemawi, Hamdi Qor’aan, and Ahed Abu Ghalama, head of the military wing of the Popular Front for the Liberation Of Palestine, were also charged with the crime.
Israel charged that Ar-Reemawi provided Qor’aan, the person who is believed to have carried out the assassination, with a fake Israeli ID, and with a picture of Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi in addition to details about the room were Ze’evi was staying, along with Ze’evi’s schedule.
On December 25 2008, Israel sentenced Sa’adat to 30 years in prison for allegedly planning the assassination of Rehavam Zeevi.
There are more than 4,600 Arab political prisoners held by Israel according to figures published by the Ad-Dameer Prisoner Support Association on April 17 – Palestinian Prisoners Day.
The vast majority are from the West Bank, while approximately 475 are from the Gaza Strip, and 360 are from occupied East Jerusalem and the 1948 territories.
Israel is still holding six women, 183 children, and 27 democratically-elected Palestinian legislators in prison, including Fateh leader Marwan Barghouthi who was sentenced to more than five life-terms, legislator Jamal Terawi, who was sentenced to 30 years, and Ahmad Sa’adat who was sentenced to 30 years.
In addition, 24 legislators are currently being held under Administrative Detention orders without charges.
120 Palestinian detainees have been imprisoned since before the first Oslo peace agreement was signed between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1993; 23 of them have been imprisoned for more than 25 years.