Pre-Oslo Prisoner Enters 27th Year in Israeli Jails

JENIN, August 28, 2015 (WAFA) – Palestinian prisoner, Ra’ed Mohammed al-Sa’adi, who is one of the longest serving pre-Oslo political prisoners in Israeli jails, entered Friday his 27th year, reported his family.

The family of al-Sa’adi, a local from Jenin’s town of Silit al-Harithya and one of the deans of Palestinian political prisoners, said that al-Sa’ade was supposed to be released as part of the fourth batch of pre-Oslo prisoners, however, Israel reneged on its commitment to release them, leaving al-Sa’adi, 48, in jail, along with other veteran prisoners.

Al-Sa’adi was arrested on august 28th, 1989 and is sentenced to double life imprisonment, in addition to 20 more years for resisting and committing attacks against the Israeli occupation. Al-Sa’adi’s mother died last year without being able to see her son.

Israel canceled the release of the fourth group of the 104 pre-Oslo prisoners, which came as part of US-brokered peace talks, unless it received assurances the Palestinian leadership would continue with negotiations beyond an initial end-April deadline set by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said Reuters.

It said that Kerry tried to put the talks back on Track, however, “his mission was jeopardized when Palestinians signed 15 international conventions, mainly through the United Nations, that could give them greater leverage against Israel.”

On April 2nd, 2014, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas signed letters of accession to 15 international conventions and organizations following Israel’s refusal to commit to the agreed upon release of the final batch of pre-Oslo prisoners.

‘As the agreements on the release of prisoners were subject to upholding the Palestinian commitment not to go to the U.N., new conditions have been created and Israel will not be able to free the prisoners,’ Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni told the Palestinians, according to Reuters.

Reuters reported on a top Palestinian official as saying that, “they would not backtrack from their decision to join international conventions and were now within their rights to join all U.N. agencies.”

‘Our response must be to join all the international institutions until we reach the International Criminal Court,’ prisoners affairs minister Issa Qaraqe told Reuters.

“Joining the court could eventually allow Palestinians to lodge formal legal cases against Israel, and is seen by the United States and Israel as the most dangerous step they could take,” said Reuters.

Signing the conventions was ‘the correct response to the Israeli game of not releasing the fourth group of prisoners on time…Israel is the one who began this and took the unilateral decision. Today, it announced its decision formally,’ Qaraqe said.

“Imposition of the condition of the return to negotiations for the release of Palestinian prisoners who were arrested before signing the Oslo agreement with is considered to be part of the compromising the legitimate rights of the Palestinians. Releasing Palestinian prisoners and detainees is not negotiable and must not be connected to any conditions since their release is the responsibility of the occupying sate,” stated Addameer Prisoner Support & Human Rights Association.