The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, pledged on Wednesday that it would not abandon Palestinian prisoners within and outside Israeli prisons.
"The legend of the freedom tunnel is a decisive stage of the life of our people and prisoners," said Musa Dudeen, a member of the Hamas political bureau. "The Israeli occupier has to know that our homes and souls are cheaper than the freedom and dignity of our prisoners. We will protect with everything we have the prisoners who escaped through the freedom tunnel."
Dudeen, who is in charge of the prisoners' portfolio for the movement, added that Hamas is ready to do "whatever is needed" for the protection of Palestinian prisoners.
He condemned the ongoing Israeli crackdown on Palestinians across the occupied West Bank and the detention of the relatives of the escapees. "All the Israeli campaigns and oppressive measures will not succeed in preventing the Palestinian people from protecting the prisoners inside or outside Israeli jails."
The Hamas official described the situation of the escapees as an extension of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and independence from Israel's brutal military occupation. His statement ended with a warning to Israel not to target the families of the escapees.