PNA: Int’l Intervention to Solve Detainees Problem
Palestinians Call For Int’l Intervention to Solve Detainees
Minister of Detainees’ Affairs Says Detainees Issue Has Reached a ‘Stalemate’
Palestinian minister in charge of the detainees’ affairs warned the problem of detainees has reached a “stalemate,” calling for international intervention to break an impasse with Israel over the release of Palestinian prisoners.
“The problem has reached stalemate and needs international intervention to force Israel to change its stance,” Hisham Abdelrazeq, said during a sit-in in support of the prisoners at the International Committee of the Red Cross headquarters in Gaza.
“We have rejected Israel's stance and we have called on the Quartet to intervene,” the minister added, referring to the European Union, Russia, United Nations and United States, which together drew up the international peace plan known as the “roadmap.”
“The bottom line of the prisoners issue is to set free all prisoners,” he said, adding that the decisions of release should be carried out by a joint Palestinian-Israeli committee, rather than by an Israeli unilateral decisions.
Israel decided last week to release just 350 of the estimated 6,000 Palestinians held in its jails, but not a single member of the resistance groups Hamas or Islamic Jihad was among them.
The prisoners’ issue is one of the biggest obstacles to progress in the “roadmap.”
Abdelrazeq pointed out the joint Palestinian - Israeli committee has not convened so far, due to the intransigence of the Israeli side, adding that Israel should withdraw its stance of releasing some prisoners alone.
“Prison strikes and sit-ins and protests supporting prisoners are nothing but a refutation,” he said.
Palestinians demand the release of all 6,000 Palestinians held by Israel. Israel has said some 300 would go free and they would not include prisoners with “blood on their hands” or members of groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.