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UN team visits Bassam Al-Saadi in Israel's Ofer Prison

August 11, 2022 at 1:49 pm

Israeli forces outside Ofer prison in the West Bank on 12 July 2021 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, announced yesterday evening that a delegation from the international body visited the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement leader, Bassam Al-Saadi, in Israel’s Ofer prison.

Wennesland said, in a tweet: “Today, I dispatched a UN team to visit Sheikh Al-Sa’di in Ofer prison to follow-up on UN commitments to maintain calm in Gaza.”

He did not give details of 61-year-old Al-Saadi’s health, or the conditions of his detention in prison.

He went on to warn: “I reiterate that the ceasefire in Gaza is very fragile, and I call on all sides to preserve the calm.”

Last week, the Israeli army killed a Palestinian activist and arrested Al-Saadi after it stormed the Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank. His arrest led to Israel launching a “preemptive” attack on Gaza on Friday.

On Sunday evening, an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Islamic Jihad movement in the Gaza Strip took effect after the three-day Israeli assault in which 44 Palestinians were killed, including 15 children.

On Tuesday, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said Tel Aviv had not committed to releasing Al-Saadi within the framework of the ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt, despite Arab and Israeli media reports that this had been included in the talks.

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