An Israeli military court has ordered the re-jailing of five Palestinians who were released in a prisoner exchange deal four years ago, a local NGO says.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society said the court reinstated on Sunday the imprisonment sentences against the five Palestinians, who were among those freed in a 2011 exchange deal.
In the prisoner swap, Tel Aviv released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured by the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas in 2006.
The NGO said that one of the five ordered to be re-imprisoned is Nael Al-Barghouthi, a Palestinian man who previously spent 33 years in an Israeli jail.
Jawad Boulos, the head of the society’s legal unit, condemned the military court’s decision saying, “The case of re-jailing the detainees freed in the Shalit prisoner exchange deal and the Israeli authorities’ use of legislations to carry this out is a malicious decision.”
Hamas said in a statement that the move is proof that the Israeli regime acts “as a gang that doesn’t heed the agreements it had signed.”
The Israeli move “represents a blow that disparages the efforts of the Egyptian mediator that sponsored the deal,” Hamas added.
At least 60 other Palestinians, who were released in 2011, were rearrested last summer when Israeli forces conducted raids in which hundreds of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were detained after three Israeli teens were reported missing on June 12, 2014 in the city of al-Khalil (Hebron).
Israeli authorities confirmed on June 30, 2014 that the bodies of the teens were found near the village of Halhul north of al-Khalil, claiming that Hamas was responsible for the death of the teens. Hamas denied involvement in the alleged disappearance.
More than 7,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently held in some 17 Israeli jails, dozens of whom are serving multiple life sentences.
The Israeli Prison Service, the agency responsible for overseeing jails, has come under criticism from human rights groups for rampant rights abuses in jails, according to reports.