Fayyad, with Arafat on wall
Fayyad, with Arafat on wall Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Palestinian Authority’s outgoing Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, called Saturday to free all PA resident Arabs imprisoned in Israel. Many are serving time for terror-related offenses, including murder and attempted murder; some were imprisoned for other violent crimes including assault and rape.

The release of all PA prisoners is an integral part of obtaining freedom as a nation, Fayyad said.

“The Occupation’s prisons hold 4,900 of our prisoners, the prisoners of freedom,” he said. “Of them 106 were arrested before 1994… and 27 served more than 25 years in prison.”

“There are also minors under the age of 18 in prison, and sick people in serious condition with heart disease, cancer and kidney failure,” he claimed. Fayyad accused Israel of failing to provide adequate care to sick PA prisoners.

He further accused Israel of causing the death of 200 prisoners through medical neglect, torture or murder. The PA has frequently accused Israel of murder in the case of prisoner deaths, including the recent deaths of one man from a sudden heart attack and of another from terminal cancer.

Fayyad called to release all Arab terrorists and criminals in Israel’s prisons, saying, “These prisoners have fathers, mothers, spouses, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. They have beautiful memories of the life they had with their loved ones, and aspirations to take part in building a better future for their families and their people.”

Marwan [Barghouti] and all the other prisoners have the full right to fulfill their dream as free men in a free homeland,” he concluded.

Fayyad is widely viewed as a moderate by the international community. He recently resigned following months of tension with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas previously has called for Israel to free all terrorist prisoners as a precondition for diplomatic talks.

MK Ayelet Shaked recently called the PA out for using the word “prisoners” to refer to terrorists.

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