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Human rights centre: Israel takes revenge on freed prisoners

February 16, 2014 at 3:11 pm

On Monday a Palestinian human rights centre criticised the new Israeli military law that upholds the re-arrest of Palestinian former prisoners freed through a prisoner swap agreed between the Palestinian fighters and Israel in 2011.

AHRAR for Prisoners Studies and Human Rights said that Israel have approved a new military law known as ‘law 186’. The law allows the military judiciary to issue new sentences against prisoners freed as part of the prisoner swap.

AHRAR’s director Fouad al-Khafash said that the Israeli measures aim to damage the “successful results” of the swap, which are seen by Palestinians as a victory of the Palestinian fighters. “It is trying to take revenge on the prisoners through military law,” he said.

Al-Khafash called for local and international human rights organisations to fight this “military law, which is unreasonable and exposes the lives of the freed prisoners to serious danger.”

In a statement commenting on this issue AHRAR called for Hamas and the Egyptian side, which brokered the prisoner swap, to reveal all secret terms regarding the deal. The statement stressed that Egypt be asked not to allow Israel to “damage its reputation.”  The statement called on Hamas to keep the “reputation of resistance.”

According to Al-Khafash, 14 prisoners freed as a result of the swap have been re-arrested. The most prominent are those that were on hunger strike for more than 200 days, Ayman al-Sharawneh and Samer al-Issawi. The re-arrests include the female former prisoner Mona Qedan and another minor.

Israel said that the detention comes in accordance with what it called “secret measures that uphold the re-arrest of former prisoners who were freed before the end of their sentences.”

In response to the Israeli measures, Hamas said that Israel “is going to regret keeping this plan.” Hamas spokesman Sami abu-Zuhri said: “These measures violate the terms of the prisoner swap.” He called for Israel to refrain from exerting this law.