Israel phones families of prisoners to incite them to press Hamas

Israel phones families of prisoners to incite them to press Hamas

GAZA, (PIC)– The Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs said Tuesday that Israeli intelligence embarked lately on contacting families of long-serving detainees from the Gaza Strip to incite them to pressure the Movement of Hamas to soften its demands regarding the prisoner swap deal.

Information director of the ministry Riyadh Al-Ashqar stated that Israel uses this new cheap method to pressure Hamas into accepting its criteria for the swap deal.

Ashqar explained that the Israeli intelligence phoned a number of these families under the name of “the family committee for Nablus prisoners” and told them that the names of their sons were included in the deal and that it was keen on the release of their sons, but it needed their help to pressure Hamas.

The spokesman for the ministry added that the caller told the families that his name was Abu Khalil, the father of a Palestinian prisoner named Abu Al-Majd and that he hoped that the swap deal could take place in order for his son and theirs to enjoy freedom even if prisoners such as Abdullah Al-Barghouthi, Ahmed Saadat and Ibrahim Hamed were not released.

According to the spokesman, the caller also gave the families phone numbers he claimed for the offices of premier Ismail Haniyya and head of Hamas’s political bureau Khaled Mishaal so as they can urge them to accept the swap deal as it is.

Ashqar warned the families of prisoners against dealing with such suspicious phone calls, saying that these calls are aimed to press the captors of the Israeli soldier to have a weak deal meeting the Israeli conditions and to convince everyone that Hamas is the party that is impeding the deal.

He stressed that Hamas is doing its best to conclude an honorable swap deal meeting the expectations of prisoners and their families.

In another context, the information office of the Palestinian legislative council (PLC) reported Monday that a large European parliamentary delegation is due to visit Gaza in mid-January to examine the humanitarian situation one year after the Israeli military aggression on the Strip.

The office said that a delegation headed by first deputy speaker of the PLC Dr. Ahmed Bahar will receive the European lawmakers at the Rafah border crossing before the PLC holds an important meeting with them on Friday afternoon.

The office noted that many issues related to the Palestinian cause will be discussed during the meeting as well as the efforts to break the blockade on the Gaza Strip.