Abbas calls for release of all terrorist prisoners

PA chairman's Fatah movement expresses solidarity with terrorist prisoners serving in Israel, calls on PA Arabs to work to free them.

Dalit Halevi,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who also heads the Fatah movement, on Monday expressed support for Palestinian Arab terrorists serving sentences in Israeli prisons during a meeting of the Fatah Central Committee in Ramallah.

A statement released at the end of the meeting said that Fatah seeks the release of all Palestinian prisoners, and expresses “great appreciation” for the prisoners in Israeli prisons and is proud of their steadfastness and patience, as expressed in their hunger strikes against administrative detentions, which were described in the statement as “a tool to terrorize the Palestinian people and our fighters contrary to international law.”

Jailed terrorists have repeatedly used hunger strikes as a pressure tactic aimed at forcing Israel to release them out of fear for their lives. Israel has several times in the past caved to the pressure and released some hunger strikers.

Dozens of terrorists recently began another hunger strike aimed at pressuring Israel to release them.

In Monday's statement, Fatah called on its “fighters” and on the public to express solidarity with the Palestinian Arab prisoners, support them and continue the struggle in the international arena in order to pressure Israel to release them.

At the same time, Abbas told Monday's meeting that the PA continues to support the French initiative for Israel-PA peace, as well as the efforts of Egypt and Jordan to bring about the implementation of the obligations imposed on Israel in order to advance the peace process.

Despite his comments welcoming the peace efforts, Abbas recently rejected an American proposal for a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the presence of Arab and western leaders.

Abbas's stated reason for refusing was the claim that the proposal was just a plan to circumvent the Arab and French peace proposals.

The PA chairman has also insisted that any reboot of peace talks with Israel should happen within a clear timeframe and under international supervision.

It should also be noted that the PA provides a monthly allowance to each terrorist prisoner in direct proportion to the number of years to which he was sentenced.