Two high-profile prisoners — Marwan Barghouti, the influential Fatah leader, and Ahmed Sa’adat, head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine — will not be released as part of the swap deal, Yoram Cohen, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service, said.
The list of 1,027 Palestinians released includes 315 prisoners who have been sentenced to life, the result of negotiators giving “priority to those who have spent over 20 years” in jail, he said.— Al Jazeera 12 Oct 2010.
It is good that the Palestinians held out for the best deal – it would have been very hard – particularly with so much focus on this by Israel. No doubt Palestinian sacrifice would have been great. It is a shame Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Sa’adat remain in prison. Of course Israeli soldiers spend much of their time arresting Palestinians, so this release does not prevent further incarceration. It is likely that the prisoners will be exiled as has happened before. But perhaps focus on the release of others will now be possible.