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Israeli court sends 5 'freed' Palestinians back to jail

Among the five defendants is Nael al-Barghouthi, a Palestinian who previously spent 33 years behind bars in Israel, according to the Palestinian Prisoners' Society.

10.05.2015
Israeli court sends 5 'freed' Palestinians back to jail

RAMALLAH, Palestine 

An Israeli military court on Sunday reinstated imprisonment sentences slapped against five Palestinians who were freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal, a local NGO has said.

Among the five defendants is Nael al-Barghouthi, a Palestinian who previously spent 33 years behind bars in Israel, according to the Palestinian Prisoners' Society.

"The case of re-jailing the detainees freed in the [Gilad] Shalit prisoner exchange deal and the Israeli authorities' use of legislations to carry this out is a malicious decision," head of the NGO's legal unit Jawad Boulos said.

Palestinian faction Hamas, for its part, said in a statement that the decision to re-imprison the Palestinians who were freed in the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal is evidence that Israeli government acts "as a gang that doesn't heed the agreements it had signed."

Hamas said this Israel's action "represents a blow that disparages the efforts of the Egyptian mediator that sponsored the deal."

In a 2011 swap deal, Israel released 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian resistance faction Hamas in 2006.

However, at least 60 of the Palestinians released in that deal were rearrested this summer amid a wide-ranging crackdown in which hundreds of West Bank Palestinians were rounded up following the abduction and murder of three Jewish settlers.

Some 6,500 Palestinians continue to languish in prisons throughout Israel, according to the Palestinian Ministry for Prisoners' Affairs.

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