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PA refuses to assist in deportation of prisoners

The Palestinian Authority's Minister of Prisoners' Affairs, Issa Qaraqei, has refused to cooperate with the Israelis in the deportation of two prisoners currently on hunger strike inside Israel. Israel has said that it could either deport Samer Al-Issawi and Ayman El-Sharawna or re-impose the sentences they were serving when released as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal.

"We do not plan to consider the deportation because it is a war crime and is condemned by international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions," said Qaraqei. He added that the solution proposed by Israel is unacceptable and arbitrary in both its options. Israel, he insisted, retains responsibility for the hunger strikers' lives and health. The men are protesting against what they believe was their illegal rearrest.

According to the minister, the Israeli government is trying to blackmail the PA by asking Palestinians to choose between a rock and a hard place. He pointed out that the Israelis have already "re-sentenced" freed prisoners Youssef Shetwei and Mahmoud Tim to 9 years and 10 years in prison respectively.

Middle EastNews
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