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PA Prime Minister calls terrorist prisoners the “heart of the Palestinian national movement” - They "are our children and we will protect them"

Video posted on the Facebook page of PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh




The video shows an interview with PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh on Al-Arabiya TV.


PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh: “The prisoners’ topic in Palestine is a sensitive issue. The number of prisoners who have entered the occupation’s prisons (i.e., Israeli prisons) since 1967 until today reaches approximately 1 million people. Therefore, every home has a sensitive issue regarding the prisoners’ topic – that is on the one hand. On the other hand, every prisoner in the world – what does he want? He wants freedom, and he seeks his freedom in various ways. Therefore, these brothers who succeeded in reaching freedom (refers to six terrorist prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison; see note below -Ed.) – in any case, they created a very sensitive issue with the situation of the prisoners and the situation of the- Another matter: The prisoners include all layers of the Palestinian people. … there are tragic cases, but there is also courage and determination. In other words, one like Karim Younes (i.e., terrorist, murdered 1 together with an accomplice) [has served] 34-35 years, 35 years that he has not seen the world. …


The prisoners’ topic is a sensitive issue. From our perspective, the prisoners are the heart of the Palestinian national movement throughout history and our concern for the prisoners- and we are paying a price. You know, the US is punishing us, and Israel is punishing us because we are taking care of the prisoners’ affairs (refers to PA terror salaries -Ed.). And as [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas says: ‘Even if we are left with one penny, we will take care of the prisoners [with it].’ These people are our children and we will protect them like we protect every central element of the Palestinian public…


Why is the [US] Consulate [in Jerusalem] and its opening important to us? Because it is the American address for taking care of the Palestinian cause, far from the embassy that the US transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on the pretext that Jerusalem is one city (see note below -Ed.). The message from this [new US] administration is that Jerusalem is not one city and that the American administration does not recognize the annexation of Arab Jerusalem by the Israeli side. We want the American Consulate to constitute a seed of a US embassy in the State of Palestine.”


2021 Gilboa Prison escape – 6 Palestinian terrorist prisoners escaped from Israel's Gilboa Prison on Sept. 6, 2021, by widening the hole of the shower drainpipe in the floor of their cell. One terrorist is from Fatah - Zakariya Zubeidi, and the other five are from Islamic Jihad - Ayham Kamamji, Muhammad Ardah, Mahmoud Ardah, Yaqub Qaderi, and Munadil Nafiyat. Four of the terrorists were recaptured after five days: Zubeidi, Ardah, Ardah, and Qaderi. Kamamji and Nafiyat were arrested in Jenin on Sept. 18, 2021 along with two accomplices. Zubeidi was head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades (Fatah's military wing) in the Jenin area during the PA terror campaign (the second Intifada, 2000-2005), when he oversaw numerous lethal attacks, and he also carried out shooting attacks in 2018-2019. Kamamji participated in the murder of 18-year-old Eliyahu Asheri on June 25, 2006, and planned to blow up a bus using an exploding car. Muhammad Ardah participated in initiating and executing a suicide bombing on bus no. 823 on Nov. 29, 2001, in which 3 people were murdered and many others were wounded. Mahmoud Ardah was involved in numerous attacks; the website of Islamic Jihad’s military wing defined him as the "commander" of the prison escape. Qaderi committed a shooting attack on Sept. 18, 2002 with an accomplice in which Israeli Yosef Ajami was murdered and a foreign worker was wounded. Nafiyat was being held in administrative detention.


Karim Younes - Israeli Arab serving a 40-year sentence for kidnapping and murdering Israeli soldier Avraham Bromberg in 1980 together with his cousin Maher Younes. Younes was originally sentenced to life in prison, but Israeli President Shimon Peres reduced his sentence in 2012. In May 2017 Younes was appointed by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the Fatah Central Committee.


US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Trump added that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined during negotiations. The US embassy was transferred from Tel Aviv and opened in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018, the anniversary of Israel's declaration of independence in 1948 according to the Gregorian calendar.