Three Islamic leaders freed from Zionist jails
Three Islamic leaders freed from Zionist jails
Thursday, March 18,2010 16:42
By Khalid Amayreh


Saleh al-Aruri, a prominent Islamic leader and veteran activist from the Ramallah region, was freed Wednesday after serving 33 months of so-called “administrative detention” for attempting to restore reconciliation  and national unity between Fatah and Hamas.

Aruri held a press conference on 24 June, 2007, during which he proposed a number of steps and measures that would lead to ending the rift between Fatah and Hamas.

A few hours later, he was snatched from his home and dumped in the notorious detention camp in the Negev desert.  The Israeli military attorney-general argued that Aruri’s efforts at restoring Palestinian national unity constituted a threat to Israeli security.

Aruri  had served 14 years for his affiliation with Hamas and for alleged connections with Hamas’s military wing.

Sheikh Aruri, 44, is considered among the highly respected Islamic leaders in occupied Palestine and is widely respected by all political factions.

According to Islamic sources in the West Bank, Aruri will be allowed to leave the West Bank, along with his wife and mother, for three years during which he hopes will complete his graduate studies.

Aruri did his undergraduate studies at the University of Hebron in the mid 1980s.

The second Palestinian Islamic leader freed Wednesday from Zionist jails is Khalid Tafesh, an outspoken lawmaker from Bethlehem.

Tafesh was rounded up along dozens of other Hamas activists on March 19, 2009 following the collapse of negotiations between Hamas and Israel over a possible prisoner. The collapse came after Israel refused to release some specific Palestinian political prisoners.

Tafesh’s detention, effectively a hostage-taking, was extended several times, apparently to exert pressure on Hamas to release Gilad Shalit, an Israeli occupation soldier taken prisoner by Palestinian freedom fighters near Gaza in 2006.

The third and final Islamist freed is Shaker Hasan Amara, who, too, served over a year of “administrative detention”.  Amara was arrested on 19 March, 2009, and held hostage in order to exert pressure on Hamas to release Shalit.
Dozens of Palestinian activists are still held in “administrative detention” which human rights experts insist is a form of hostage-taking since the victims don’t know why they are being detained and when they will be set free.

There are more than seven thousand Palestinians being held in several detention camps in occupied Palestine. Many of these are held without charge or trial.

Three former Palestinian cabinet ministers are still held in Zionist custody. They are Wasfi Kabaha, Issa al Jabari and Nayef Rajoub.

The former ministers, along with more than a dozen lawmakers still languishing in Zionist jails, were rounded up in the summer of 2006 following the Shalit affair.

Most of the lawmakers were given hefty prison sentences for contesting the 2006 parliamentary elections which Hamas won overwhelmingly.

The elections had been okayed by Israel and the United States. However, both rejected the outcome of the polls after Hamas emerged as the main winner.