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Jordan: Popular and parliamentary movement to demand prisoner-swap deal with Israel

Jordanian flag [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency]
Jordanian flag [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency]

Dozens of families of Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails participated in a sit-in in front of the State Security Court in Amman, in conjunction with the trial of Israeli prisoner Konstantin Kotov, who infiltrated into Jordan illegally.

The mother of Jordanian prisoner Mari Abu Saida appealed during an interview with Quds Press to King Abdullah II to conduct “a prisoner- swap deal with Israel to free Jordanian captives in exchange with the Israeli infiltrator.”

“We will not accept the release of this infiltrator unless all Jordanian prisoners return to their families,” she said.

This comes at a time when several deputies signed a memorandum adopted by MP Khalil Attia, demanding the government to implement a prisoner-swap deal with the Israeli occupation to exchange Jordanian prisoners in return for Kotov.

The memorandum, which Quds Press obtained a copy of, indicated: “We demand a swap deal with Israel in exchange for Kotov, who is being tried before the State Security Court, in return for the Jordanian prisoners, as well as with the bodies of martyred Jordanians kept by the occupation.”

The trial of the Israeli infiltrator was resumed on Tuesday, after the judge decided to dismiss the court session yesterday, as Kotov was found guilty of entering the Jordanian territory illegally.

READ: All bets are off on Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel

The court session was presided over by the President of the State Security Court, Colonel Ali Mubaideen. The indictment was read against the Israeli prisoner, who was asked whether he is guilty or not.

The indictment included that Kotov was “in possession of a sum of $ 421, and 27,100 Israeli shekels, and a marijuana cigarette.”

The Israeli defendant said he was “not guilty of drug use but guilty of entering Jordan illegally.”

Quds Press reported that Kotov said that he “reached the Jordanian border with his friend in a private vehicle, and stood near the Jordanian-Israeli border; then, he continued to walk alone on foot, and crossed the border.”

Letter from inside prison

In turn, the Jordanian prisoners demanded in a letter sent from inside the Ktzi’ot Prison, which Quds Press obtained a copy of, the Jordanian authorities to make use of the Zionist infiltrator’s file to conclude a swap deal with the occupation.

The letter pointed out that the Palestinian resistance freed 1,000 prisoners thanks to a similar incident.

The letter read: “We plead you from behind the bars of the prison to support us and work to liberate us so that we can be among you again. Each one of us has his own story, pain, tears and grievances. We were born in Jordan, and we studied and graduated from Jordanian universities. We fell in love with Jordan’s soil and air. We are not mere numbers that we want you to know. We are the Jordanian youth whose silence is a pain that tells aching stories of each one of us. Do not forget us in prison, where we are denied years of our lives away from our loved ones.”

The Jordanian prisoners continued: “Our families, and we are victims of the State’s marginalisation and neglect, as our rights were usurped by long years of procrastination and deprivation. We certainly know that Jordanian diplomacy can liberate us if there is a real willingness!”

They went on: “They do, especially that they have today a winning card, which is the Zionist infiltrator’s file, whose plan was frustrated by the Jordanian border guards.”

The letter stated: “This is a winning card through which the resistance succeeded to liberate more than 1,000 prisoners in 2011, and was well invested. You will not dare to let us down this time, as we are the ones who received unfair sentences under unjust laws contrary to all laws and humanitarian rules.”

Fadi Farah, a rapporteur of the Jordanian committee for prisoners and missing citizens, called on the government to listen to the families of the prisoners and work for the release of all Jordanians through an honourable swap deal with the Israeli occupation, in exchange for Kotov.

Farah asserted in a statement to Quds Press that: “the families of Jordanian prisoners feel today that they are living a historic moment to release their children, and the Jordanian government should not let them down.”

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IsraelJordanMiddle EastPalestine
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