‘If six prisoners managed to break through the narrow and crowded prison, then millions of the Palestinian people can end the occupation,” said Israeli-Arab MK Ayman Odeh.
By David Hellerman, World Israel News
Following the capture of four escaped Palestinian security prisoners over the weekend, lawmakers from the Arab Joint List party spoke up in solidarity with the fugitives and other incarcerated Palestinians.
The six Palestinians, who were imprisoned for terror-related offenses, tunneled their way out of the Gilboa Prison in northern Israel on Monday. Four were serving life-sentences. Two were recaptured Friday night in Nazereth and another two were caught Saturday in Umm al-Ghanam. In both instances, police were alerted by local Arab Israelis.
Iham Kamamji and Munadil Nafiyat, both members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, are still at large and are considered dangerous. Kamamji was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of an Israeli in 2006. Nafayet was being held in administrative detention, a controversial measure that allows Israel to imprison terror suspects without filing charges.
In a Facebook post, Joint List leader Ayman Odeh wrote on Saturday, “If six prisoners managed to break through the narrow and crowded prison, then millions of the Palestinian people can end the occupation — so that the people will be released and the prisoners will be released.”
Odeh has over 300,000 Facebook followers.
Odeh later told Israeli TV’s Meet the Press, “I have a dream [the prisoners] will all be released, and a Palestinian state will be established next to Israel. My dream is that there will be no jails or occupation.”
Another Joint List MK, Ofer Cassif, who is the Joint List’s only Jewish member, tweeted on Friday night that prison authorities would torture the recaptured fugitives.
“Tonight the two captured fugitives will be severely tortured, only to avenge their success in deceiving the ‘masters.’ This is how colonialism has always acted,” Cassif tweeted, adding, “The end to violence is by the elimination of the occupation! For the benefit of us all!”
Joint List MK Aida Touma-Suleiman also took to Facebook to call for the release of all Palestinians imprisoned for “opposition to the occupation.”
“The only guarantee for security and stability is an end to the occupation and recognition of the rights of the Palestinian people,” Touma-Suleiman wrote on Wednesday.
On Monday, hours after the breakout, veteran Joint List MK Ahmed Tibi posted as an Instagram story an image of a dove which was captioned, “Live as a free man or die as an upright tree.”
In response to Odeh’s comments, MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, chairman of the Otzma Yehudit party, was quoted by Israeli National News saying, “Ayman Odeh should sit in prison together with the terrorists whom he supports. My dream is that there should be no terrorists in the country and no terror supporters in the Knesset, and that the State of Israel bring back its deterrence and sovereignty.”