RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israel’s Ofer court Thursday ordered a Palestinian prisoner released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange to spend the next five years in Israeli prison, the remaining time left from his previous detention, after he was redetained by Israeli forces in the wake of Israel’s 2014 military offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip.
According to Ruslam Mahajneh, a lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS), Palestinian prisoner Mahmoud Abed al-Qader Haskour, from the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah and al-Bireh, had previously spent 10-and-a-half years of his 16-year sentence before being released under the prisoner exchange deal.
According to PPS, some 70 Palestinian prisoners who were released during the Gilad Shalit deal were redetained by Israeli forces in 2014 and were resentenced according to their remaining time left in prison before the deal.
In 2006, Gaza militants captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and held him for five years before freeing him in exchange for the release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
However, at least 800 Palestinians were detained, including many of those released in the 2011 exchange, during a widespread detention campaign in 2011 referred to as "Operation Brother's Keeper," in which Israeli forces detained 800 Palestinians without charge or trial and killed nine civilians.
Senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan urged Palestinian resistance fighters earlier this month to capture Israeli soldiers in order to position them as a bargaining chip to force Israeli authorities into releasing Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons.
As Israel currently holds 7,000 Palestinians in their prisons, and with 40 percent of Palestinian men having been detained by Israel at some point in their lives, many families of Palestinian political prisoners have rested heavily on the prospects of another prisoner swap between Israel and Palestinian leaders as the only promising avenue of their release.