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Israel: Release of Islamic Jihad leader not part of ceasefire terms

Bassam al-Saadi, one of the leaders of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine poses for a picture at the Jenin camp for Palestinian refugees, in the north of the occupied West Bank, on September 10, 2020. - In Palestinian refugee camps in the Israeli-occupied West Bank some residents are taking up arms for a potential power struggle when president Mahmud Abbas, 85, finally leaves the stage. Abbas, leader of the dominant Fatah movement and of the Palestinian Authority (PA), has promised elections in 2021, for the first time in almost 15 years. In Jenin refugee camp, in the north of the occupied West Bank, the walls are plastered with posters showing young Palestinian men wearing keffiyeh scarfs around their necks and clutching AK-47 assault rifles. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP) (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images)
Bassam Al-Saadi, one of the leaders of the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine in the West Bank, on September 10, 2020 [JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel has denied that the terms of the ceasefire agreed with Islamic Jihad in Gaza under Egyptian auspices include clauses which stipulate the release of hunger striking Palestinian prisoner, Khalil Awawdeh, and the leader of Islamic Jihad, Bassam Al-Saadi, who the occupation arrested last week.

The Home Front Command of the Israeli army announced that it would maintain restrictions on movement in the vicinity of the towns and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip, in case rockets are fired at them, despite the ceasefire entering into force.

A political correspondent for Israeli radio said this morning that Israel thanked Egypt for its efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement, while denying that the ceasefire agreement is linked to the release of Palestinian prisoners.

The Israeli Minister of Justice, Gideon Sa'ar, also denied that there is an Israeli obligation to release Al-Saadi, saying that that was an Egyptian commitment, not an Israeli one.

"I can say that there is no intention to release Bassam Al-Saadi, and there is also no intention to release the hunger striking prisoner Khalil Awawdeh before the end of the period of administrative detention imposed on him."

The Israeli occupation claimed that it had achieved all the goals it set for the attack by breaking the strength of the Islamic Jihad and striking 146 targets, including the movement's members, headquarters and sites in the Gaza Strip.

The political and military levels in Israel claim that the occupation achieved two main goals: rejecting the equation that says that Israelis living around in the Gaza envelope can be threatened as a result of an arrest operation in the occupied West Bank, and the assassination of the military leadership of the Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

READ: Gaza ceasefire between Islamic Jihad and Israel takes effect

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