Sunday, October 07, 2007

Salah Free IsraeliArab security prisoners

Sharon Roffe-Ofir

Islamic Movement leader calls on Arab countries to include Israeli-Arab prisoners in any future prisoner exchange deal. Relatives of security prisoners say Israel discriminates against them Head of the Islamic Movement's northern branch Sheikh Raed Salah, who also serves as chairman of the committee for prisoner affairs at the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, called on the Arab countries to demand the release of Israeli Arabs serving time for security offenses in Israel.

"We demand that all those who negotiate the release of prisoners, whether on the Palestinian, the Lebanese or the Arab level, will not forget the political prisoners and include them in any deal drafted," said Salah during an iftar meal for breaking the daily fast of Ramadan, which was attended by the relatives of the 150 Israeli security prisoners.

"There will come a time when we shall meet in different circumstances, a joyful and festive meeting, and celebrate the prisoners' release," Salah told the meal's participants.

'Most prisoners jailed for nothing'
"This kind of event boosts our morale," said Um Takhrir, the wife of Muhammad Khalef who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for security offenses two weeks ago.

Um Takhrir said she has also appealed to those involved of talks on a prisoner exchange and asked them to include the Israeli Arabs in any future deal. "My husband was sentenced to 12 years for nothing. Israel framed him."

Issam Sfadi, who served 11 years in an Israeli jail for security offenses, said, "We will give our blood, our money and our land for the homeland. I urge all the leaders to free our prisoners, most of whom were jailed for nothing."

Referring to the Lebanon war, Sfadi stated, "We welcome the resistance in Lebanon that prompts honor and respect, and we laud them from the heart of Palestine. We will also not forget the holy Iraqi people, who have the right to liberate their land."

Another participant at the event, Jamil Amariya, whose brother Ali has been serving a life sentence since 1988, told Ynet, "My brother is in jail for throwing a grenade and his sentence has not been commuted until today. There are Jewish murderers whose sentence was commuted, I don't understand this racism."

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