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PA daily calls on Hamas not to release 136 Israeli hostages without release of all 9000 terrorist prisoners

Itamar Marcus  |
  • Official PA Daily: If Hamas does not release all the 9000 prisoners it will be “a crime against the prisoners of freedom.”

The official PA daily is calling on Hamas not to release the 136 kidnapped Israeli hostages unless Israel releases all the 9000 imprisoned Palestinian terrorists. The PA daily editorial is demanding Hamas insist on the release of all the mass murderers, which includes terrorists like Abdallah Barghouti, Hamas bomb builder responsible for the murder of 67 people, and Abbas Al-Sayid - serving 35 life sentences for planning the suicide bombing at the Passover Seder in Netanya in 2002, and others who together have killed thousands of Israelis. According to the PA daily, to release the 136 Israeli hostages without the release of all these terrorist murderers, whom the PA calls “prisoners of freedom,” would be a crime.


All members of the Israeli government and all Israeli negotiators have ruled out Israel’s releasing all the terrorists from prison. Many of the 1027 terrorists released by Israel in exchange for Israeli soldier hostage Gilad Shalit in 2011 went on to murder again, and others became the leaders of Hamas who planned and executed years of terror including the October 7 atrocities. The Israeli army is fighting to destroy the Hamas leaders in Gaza. It will all have been for nothing if Israel releases the imprisoned Hamas terrorist murderers who will become the new leaders and will rebuild the terror organization.


Unfortunately, the greater the public pressure from Palestinians on Hamas to insist on the release of 9000 terrorists from prison, the harder it will be for Hamas to compromise and release the Israeli hostages for a smaller number of terrorists. The PA daily may be pressuring Hamas to demand what Israel cannot agree to, in order to undermine negotiations. Any successful exchange that releases a significant number of Palestinian prisoners will raise Hamas’ popularity. It is possible, that the PA daily is warning Hamas that it will be a “crime” not to have 9000 terrorist prisoners released for the hostages because it knows that this demand is not achievable.


The following is from the editorial in the official PA daily.

“This [prisoners’] front … necessitates raising our voices for the immediate release of all the prisoners (i.e., imprisoned Palestinian terrorists). Those who are conducting negotiations for prisoner exchanges (i.e., Israel's kidnapped hostages in exchange for Palestinian terrorists) must not compromise on the release of all the prisoners of freedom (i.e., terrorist prisoners) without any exception. And if it should happen that someone from among the resistance wings, and especially the Hamas Movement, who claims that he wants to release all [the prisoners] for all [the hostages], should concede, he will commit a crime against the prisoners of freedom.”

[Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 8, 2024]

Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul is also a former PLO Central Council member.

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