Ankara to host 40 freed Palestinian detainees 15Oct11 October 15, 2011

IMEMC  -  14 October 2011

The Hurriyet Daily News in Turkey has reported that Ankara will be hosting forty Palestinian detainees who are to be freed under the prisoner-swap deal between Israel and Hamas. Israel rejected the notion of exiling them to Egypt, Lebanon or Syria.

Israel wanted a larger number of detainees to be forced into exile, but the number was eventually negotiated down to just forty. Over one-hundred and sixty West Bank detainees will be sent to the Gaza Strip.

Member of the Hamas Political Bureau, Izzat Al-Rishiq, stated that the second phase of the swap will be implemented two months after the first phase is concluded.

Al-Rishiq wrote on his Facebook page that the deal also states that all freed detainees must be political prisoners, and not prisoners held on criminal charges.
The other criteria of the deal states that those released should not be about to end their terms; it stipulates that the released detainees have several years of imprisonment left, including prisoners who may have as much as ten or twelve years remaining on their sentence.

Al-Rishiq said that all detainees released in the second phase of the deal will be allowed back to their towns and homes, yet Israel will be the sole party who will choose the names of whom are to be released.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) stated that there are still more than five-thousand Palestinian prisoners inside Israeli jails, including some four-hundred prisoners from the Gaza Strip.

The centre added that it is deeply concerned over the forced exile of over two hundred of the soon-to-be-released prisoners (most of them to Gaza), as the act violates International Law.

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