Nine ‘Shalit exchange’ political prisoners re-arrested in February

on 22 Comments
prisoner swap
Palestinians in Gaza celebrating the release of a political prisoner from the “Shalit exchange.” (Photo: United Nations News Centre)

Yesterday, the International Middle East Media Center (IMEMC) reported in February over 380 Palestinians were arrested by Israeli authorities. Riyadh Al-Ashqar compiles detention figures from the West Bank, Israel and the Gaza Strip, and conducted the detainee research.

The article on Al-Ashqar’s report also indicates nine of those arrested were prisoners released under the October 2011 Shalit exchange between Hamas and Israel. Of the political prisoners re-arrested, the most notable is hunger striker Hana Shalabi. 

The other “Shalit exchange” prisoners are identified by IMEMC:

One of the kidnapped women is a lawyer, and former political prisoner, identified as Shereen Al-Esawy; she was taken prisoner after the army broke into her home and searched it, in occupied East Jerusalem.

The rest were identified as Mofeeqa Al-Qawasmi (the wife of detainee Mohammad Shafeeq Al-Qawasmi), Mona Abu Sneina (the wife of political prisoner Hamdan Abu Sneina), and Aesha Mousa Ghannam.

The four male political prisoners who were released under the Shalit Prisoner Swap Deal, and were rearrested in February, were identified as Ayman Abu Da’oud, Yousef Abdul-Rahman Shteiwy, Mahmoud Adnan Salim, and Rami Abu Haniyya.

The number of arrested Palestinian politicians also increased substantially, according to a separate study by Al-Ashqar. In January the number of imprisoned legislatures was 26. IMEMC and Al-Asqar label this practice as “kidnapping of the elected legislators” and explain that it “is carried out under direct political decisions made by the office of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and not by regional military commanders.”

Since 1967 Israeli forces have used administrative detention as a tool to hold Palestinians in prison without formal charges.  Incarceration rates for this form of imprisonment correlates to the highs and lulls in Palestinian popular resistance. For example, during the first Intifada almost two thousand Palestinians were held in detention. This number dropped to 16 prisoners in early 2001, and again skyrocketed during the second Intifada to over a thousand.

In the past two years, there has been an overall increase in the number of Palestinians in prison through administrative detention orders. After Operation Cast Lead in 2009, the number of prisoners held without charge was close to 200. Today, that number has climbed to over 300. 

About Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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22 Responses

  1. Les
    March 3, 2012, 9:16 am

    Must read report by Gareth Porter about who was likely behind the anti-Israel bombs in India and Thailand.

    You’ll never guess who most likely set up for the toy bomb set off in India.

    “Who’s Behind Anti-Israel Bomb Plots? March 3, 2012”

    • Annie Robbins
      March 3, 2012, 9:45 am

      les,i saw that coming a mile away.

      • OlegR
        March 4, 2012, 6:13 am

        Careful annie
        conspiracytheoritis is very contagious.

      • Annie Robbins
        March 4, 2012, 8:31 am

        careful of what? do you recall this comment oleg? it was posted right after the attacks, the lobby’s tweeters didn’t like that. i always assume i’m close to home base and too close for their comfort when they tweet about it and spread it around to their friends.

        just thought i would note that israel accused iranians of the india attack weeks before it happened.

        A report in the Hindustan Time said that Israeli intelligence warned India of an imminent threat to Israeli establishments and individuals, giving them a list of about 50 individuals – all Iranian nationals – believed to be involved in such a plot.

        “A list of about 50 Iranians was submitted by a high-level Israeli delegation to the Union home ministry over two weeks ago… Israel requested that the individuals named on the list be kept under surveillance,” a New Delhi security source told the newspaper.

        then i linked to something about india being one of irans biggest trading partners. smart people know governments conspire. these attacks had false flag written all over them from the get go.

      • Chaos4700
        March 4, 2012, 11:38 am

        Careful annie,

        Trolls don’t always get banned on Mondoweiss.

    • DICKERSON3870
      March 3, 2012, 11:57 am

      RE: “Must read report by Gareth Porter about who was likely behind the anti-Israel bombs in India and Thailand.” ~ Les

      ALSO SEE: Convoluted fuse to Bangkok bombs, by Anthony Davis, Asia Times, Feb 23 2012

      (excerpt) . . . A third alternative that merits close attention centers on the MeK. At various levels, there are grounds which might support the theory of an independent MeK operation in Bangkok, Delhi and Tbilisi. Strategically, the organization has ample motive. The successful assassination of Israeli diplomats would at the least serve to further isolate the Iranian government at a critical juncture. At most, it might provide the impetus to push Israel into an attack on Iran that would destabilize or even topple the regime, a result MeK has no chance of achieving itself. Operationally, the hand of MeK or allied opposition elements also provides an explanation for the otherwise puzzling blunders displayed in mid-February. It can be safely assumed that a small number of Iranian opposition elements has been recruited, trained and deployed by Israeli and/or US intelligence services in the covert war against Iran’s nuclear program. However, MeK remains a larger and largely uncharted group without access to specialized training. It is also worth noting that for an opposition group to commit poorly-trained and supported personnel openly using Iranian travel documents would pose no real risk of blow-back: In the event of failure or fiasco, the simple fact that the operatives were Iranian would serve well enough to implicate the Tehran regime in the eyes of an already skeptical world…

      SOURCE –

  2. DICKERSON3870
    March 3, 2012, 11:34 am

    RE: “Nine ‘Shalit exchange’ political prisoners re-arrested in
    February” ~ Deger


    …after months of trial postponement, Joseph K goes to court painter Titorelli to ask for advice. He is told to hope for little. He might get definite acquittal, ostensible acquittal, or indefinite postponement. No one is ever really acquitted, but sometimes cases can be extended indefinitely.

    Titorelli: “You see, in definite acquittal, all the documents are annulled. But with ostensible acquittal, your whole dossier continues to circulate. Up to the higher courts, down to the lower ones, up again, down. These oscillations and peregrinations, you just can’t figure ‘em.”
    Joseph K: “No use in trying either, I suppose.”
    Titorelli: “Not a hope. Why, I’ve known cases of an acquitted man coming home from the court and finding the cops waiting there to arrest him all over again. But then, of course, theoretically it’s always possible to get another ostensible acquittal.”
    Joseph K: “The second acquittal wouldn’t be final either.”
    Titorelli: “It’s automatically followed by the third arrest. The third acquittal, by the fourth arrest. The fourth…”


  3. Chaos4700
    March 3, 2012, 4:39 pm

    We knew this would happen. Breaking promises is veritably permanent feature of Israeli politics.

    • Fredblogs
      March 3, 2012, 7:42 pm

      When did Israel promise not to re-arrest the 1000 prisoners they let go? Even in America a presidential pardon just lets you go, it doesn’t immunize you against further arrests.

      • Chaos4700
        March 4, 2012, 4:01 am

        Except in the United States, we have (or had, anyway…) nominal protections — constitutional guarantees against being arrested without a warrant, being held without charges, being charged with the same crime twice if you get exonerated, being tortured into confession, being subject to cruel or unusual punishment, having your family rendered homeless on their own sovereign land, being deprived adequate legal representation and fair trial proceedings, etc. None of which exist in Israel for non-Jews.

        Israel was forced to release a thousand innocent people who were held for purely political reasons because they have the wrong skin color and accent. Mind telling me what they’re being charged with now? Or if there are even formal charges at all?

        You know, for being a justice system under “Jewish self-determination…” it’s awfully deterministic, isn’t it?

      • Chaos4700
        March 4, 2012, 4:04 am

        And in case you were ignorant of what prompts my parenthetical, it’s has to do with the Israelification that has eliminated due process in the United States.

      • Fredblogs
        March 4, 2012, 4:49 pm

        Few if any of the people released were innocent. Most were self-confessed murderers and terrorists. One that I found particularly reprehensible was a woman who lured a 16 year old boy from Israel into Ramala with the promise of a relationship (or maybe it was just sex) so that she and her compatriots could rob and murder the boy. She was given a life sentence for her part in the murder, she was not innocent. Nor was the woman who aided in the Sbarro restaurant bombing.

        Do not mistake relative lack of power for innocence, you lose all credibility when you do that.

      • Fredblogs
        March 4, 2012, 4:53 pm

        I figured that’s what you meant. I doubt it will survive court challenges. The main difference being that Israel is doing this to non-citizen, members of an enemy people, while the new U.S. law proposes doing this to U.S. citizens.

        BTW, it isn’t a paradox that I support the capture or kill list for that U.S. citizen terrorist in Yemen, but not indefinite imprisonment for U.S. citizens in the U.S. Until a citizen is in the government’s power, I’m willing to give the government latitude to kill him if he can’t be peacefully captured. Once a citizen is in the government’s power, he has a right to decent treatment.

      • Mayhem
        March 4, 2012, 5:34 pm

        @chaos4700: your remark about ‘a thousand innocent people who were held for purely political reasons’ is preposterous. Amongst those prisoners released was the likes of Ahlam Tamimi who has professed no remorse for her part in the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing. Whatever your political persuasion you have no right to slaughter truly innocent civilians and then go around boasting and plotting to kill more. Yet she is no doubt now out of the reach of Israeli authorities. The clamp down by Israeli authorities has succeeded in reducing the number of people being killed in this conflict. Isn’t that worth something or do you prefer the political climate in Syria where many people are being slaughtered indiscriminately every day? 

      • Chaos4700
        March 5, 2012, 8:50 am

        I highly doubt that Israel would release anyone who was actually a danger to innocent people — or at least to Israelis. You’re full of it.

        And anyway… that’s what, 0.1% of the prisoners released? You loves you some collective punishment, don’t you!

  4. Pamela Olson
    March 4, 2012, 10:56 am

    Not surprising but completely disgusting :(

  5. giladg
    March 5, 2012, 1:58 am

    Annie, seems like a Palestinian can do no wrong in your eyes. Such wonderful peace loving people, and always innocent I may add.

    • Cliff
      March 5, 2012, 4:48 am

      Uh, ok?

    • Bumblebye
      March 5, 2012, 8:09 am

      @giladg, Fredblogs and Mayhem
      Even those Palestinians you consider guilty of heinous crimes ARE political prisoners. They are/were acting for a Cause, in just the same way as the prisoners held in Northern Ireland were, whether or not they killed civilians. If you recall, ALL such prisoners had to be released when a peace was reached in that situation. No matter whether they had killed babies or housewives, pensioners or merely shoppers. And for that the USA was on board, and encouraging. Such a contrast to the Israeli situation. We in the UK had to get used to legitimate politicians who once were terrorists. But in contrast, for much of its first few decades, the Israeli government was made up of politicians who were exactly the same kind of terrorists – and they are still part of the political scene – who were respected by one sector of the population, loathed by the ‘other’.
      Israel – born thru terror, run by terrorists, but failing to acknowledge the fact, inflicts yet more terror. Treats any and all efforts to fight back against its terror as terror. And the US is captive to its pov.

      • Fredblogs
        March 5, 2012, 5:16 pm

        No, by definition a political prisoner is one who is imprisoned because of their politics, not because of any actual crimes. There are people who try to make the definition “any prisoner whose politics I agree with is a political prisoner”, so as to garner sympathy from those who don’t realize they are twisting the definition. But that just makes it a useless distinction since you can’t say “no political prisoner should be in jail”, if you include convicted murderers in the category of political prisoners.

        The Irish terrorists weren’t released because they were political prisoners, they were released because the rest of their terrorist friends made it a pre-condition of peace. Much like the Lockerby bomber was released because the Libyans made it a precondition of an oil deal.

      • Chaos4700
        March 7, 2012, 2:16 am

        So what were these people’s crimes. Clearly you must know what they’re charged with. Right?

    • Chaos4700
      March 5, 2012, 8:50 am

      So what are these people charged with Gilad?

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