In a move labeled by Israeli government officials as a ‘goodwill’ gesture, but questioned by the families of the over 4,000 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel as a public relations stunt, just 12 prisoners will be released on Tuesday, with an additional 14 to be exiled to the Gaza Strip.In the past, such prisoner releases have involved hundreds of imprisoned Palestinians, but this time, the Israeli government has approved just 12 prisoners for full release. An additional 14 Palestinian prisoners will be exiled to the Gaza Strip, unable to return to their families and homes in the West Bank.
Israeli forces engage in daily raids of Palestinian towns, villages and refugee camps, abducting sometimes dozens of people each day. So Palestinian prisoner advocacy groups say that the release of a dozen prisoners is rather disingenuous on the Israeli government’s part, since the Israeli military usually abducts that many in a single day.
Despite the low number of prisoners to be released, Israeli victims of Palestinian attacks held a protest to challenge the release of any Palestinian prisoners. They also filed an appeal with the Israeli government committee that approved the release.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had previously stated that the Israeli government had approved the release of 107 Palestinians who have been imprisoned for more than twenty years.
Although most of the Palestinians on the list were imprisoned for killing Israelis, prisoner rights advocates in Palestine point out that Palestinians are often convicted based on circumstantial evidence and without proper legal representation. Many Palestinian prisoners have also been forced to ‘confess’ through the use of torture techniques. The prison advocacy organization Addameer has documented the extensive and routine use of torture in the interrogations of Palestinian prisoners.
According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahranoth, the prisoners to be released or exiled on Tuesday are the following:
1. Kor Mattawa Hamad Faiz, jailed since ’85, for the murder of Menahem Dadon and attempted murder of Salomon Abukasis.
2. Salah Ibrahim Ahmad Mughdad, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Israel Tenenbaum.
3. Na’anish Naif Abdel Jafar Samir, jailed since ’89, for the murder of Binyamin Meisner.
4. Arshid A. Hamid Yusef Yusef, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Nadal Rabu Ja’ab, Adnan Ajad Dib, Mufid Cana’an, Tawafiq Jaradat and Ibrahim Sa’id Ziwad.
5. Al Haj Othman Amar Mustafa, jailed since ’89, for the murder Steven Frederick Rosenfeld.
6. Maslah Abdallah Salama Salma, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Reuven David.
7. Abu Moussa Salam Ali Atiya, jailed since ’94, for the murder Isaac Rotenberg.
8. Maqlad Mahmoud Zayd Salah, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Yeshayahu Deutsch.
9. Sawalha Bad Almajed Mahmad Mahmad, jailed since ’93 for the murder of Baruch Heisler, and attempted murder of Betty Malka, Shai Cohen, Avishag Cohen.
10. Shaath Azath Shaaban Attaf, jailed since ’93, for being the accessory to the murder of Simcha Levy.
11. Abdel Aal Sa’id Ouda Yusef, jailed since ’94, for throwing explosives, accessory to the murder of Ian Feinberg and Sami Ramadan.
12. Barbakh Faiz Rajab Madhat, jailed since ’94, for the murder of Moshe Beker.
13. Raai Ibrahim Salam Ali, jailed since ’94, for the murder of Moris Eisenstatt.
14. Nashbat Jabar Yusef Mahmad, jailed since ’90, for being an accessory to the murder of Amnon Pomerantz.
15. Mortja Hasin Ganim Samir, jailed since ’93, for abduction, interrogation through torture, and murder of Samir Alsilawi, Khaled Malka, Nasser Aqila, Ali al Zaabot.
16. Sawalha Faz Ahmad Husni, jailed since ’90, for the murder of Heisler Baruch.
17. Ramahi Salah Abdallah Faraj, jailed since ’92, for the murder of Avraham Kinstler.
18. Abu Satta Ahmad Sa’id Aladdin, jailed since 1994, for the murder of David Dadi and Hayim Weizman.
19. Abu Sita Talab Mahmad Ayman, jailed since 1994, for the murder of David Dadi and Hayim Weizman.
20. Mansour Omar Abdel Hafiz Asmat, jailed since 1993, for being an accessory to the murder of Hayim Mizrahi.
21. Asqara Mahmad Ahmad Khaled, jailed in ’91, for the murder of Annie Ley.
22. Janadiya Yusef Radwan Nahad, jailed since ’89, for the murder of Zalman Shlein.
23. Hamadiah Mahmoud Awad Muhammad, jailed since ’89, for the murder of Zalman Shlein.
24. Abdel Nabi A. Wahab Jamal Jamil, jailed since ’92, for the murder of Shmuel Gersh.
25. Ziwad Muhammad Taher Taher, jailed since ’93, for the murder of Avraham Cohen.
26. Sabih Abed Hamed Borhan, jailed since ’01, for the murder of Jamil Muhammad Naim Sabih, Aisha Abdullah Haradin.