Islamic leaders in the Gaza Strip called on Friday for armed groups to kidnap Israelis and use them as bargaining chips to secure the freedom of thousands of Palestinians prisoners held in Israeli jails.
Human rights groups say up to 2,000 prisoners have joined an open-ended hunger strike to protest against jail conditions and thousands of Palestinians staged a rally in the Gaza Strip to support their cause.
“We should work hard to get (Israeli) prisoners in our hands in order to secure the freedom of our prisoners,” Khaled al-Batsh, a senior member of the Islamic Jihad, told the crowd.
“I say to all armed factions, the way to free the prisoners is through swaps ... An arrest for an arrest, and freedom for freedom. This is the way,” he said, according to Reuters. more
Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) Continue Systematic Attacks against Palestinian Civilians and Property in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT)
IOF use force to disperse peaceful protest organized by Palestinian civilians in the West Bank. A Palestinian civilian was wounded. IOF arrested 6 demonstrators, including two photojournalists and two Israeli human rights defenders. Dozens of civilians suffered from tear gas inhalation.
IOF conducted 81 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank and a limited one into the central Gaza Strip. IOF arrested 15 Palestinian civilians, including 4 children and a woman.
IOF continued to attack Palestinian fishermen in the Gaza Strip. IOF arrested two fishers, including a child, and confiscated their boat.
Israel has continued to impose a total closure on the OPT and has isolated the Gaza Strip from the outside world. IOF arrested 3 Palestinian civilians at various checkpoints in the West Bank.
IOF have continued settlement activities in the West Bank and Israeli settlers have continued to attack Palestinian civilians and property. IOF razed areas of land in Qalandya village near Jerusalem for the purpose of the construction of the annexation wall. IOF destroyed a barnyard and two water storage tanks in Hebron. Israeli settlers attacked a school near Nablus. more
GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Palestinian prisoners continued their hunger strike for the 11th consecutive day in protest of Israeli policy.
A mass march went out in Gaza City, which was called by Hamas and Islamic Jihad to support the prisoners.
Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh affirmed his government’s support of the prisoners. He added during a speech in Al-Omari mosque that the prisoners are united in their battle inside Israeli jails.
He stressed the demands of the prisoners which include ending solitary confinement, cancelling the so-called Shalit law, and returning to a normal visitation program.
He sent a message to the Palestinian people and their leaders saying that “we are united behind bars and genuine demands for unity and commitment to the principles for which the prisoners were detained, and to stop the security coordination with the occupation and not to go back to negotiations.”
He also called on Egyptian intelligence, who helped execute the Shalit deal, to make Israel commit to what has been agreed on in the deal. more