Gaza SaebPress—The Palestinian activist Weroud Kassem 17, from the PFLP and four other Palestinian female prisoners at ‘Israel’s’ Hasharon jail started a hunger strike fight on Wednesday in protest against their exclusion from the prisoner swap deal between ‘Israel’ and Hamas.
The Palestinian ministry of prisoners affairs said that the female prisoners were feeling let down after discovering that they were not included in phase two of the swap.
“They felt betrayed because Hamas did not live up to their promises to release all female prisoners,” prisoners affairs lawyer Shireen Iraqi said.
According to Iraqi, the five female prisoners had originally started a hunger strike on Dec. 13. As a result, prison wardens ransacked their rooms as punishment.
Six women were among the 550 detainees released in phase two of the prisoner exchange deal on Sunday. There were 11 female detainees in ‘Israeli’ jails, Riyad al-Ashqar, media director in Gaza’s Ministry of Prisoners, had said at the time of the swap.
Five women remain imprisoned. They are: Lina Jarbouni, serving 18 months, Salwa Salah from Hebron, who has not been sentenced yet, Woroud Qasim, serving 4 years, Walaa al-Jaabari from Hebron, not sentenced yet, and Khadija Abu Ayyash, serving four years.
Hani Habib, a political analyst in Gaza, said that ‘Israel’, given the opportunity to pick which prisoners would be freed in the second stage, chose inmates from Fatah rather than Hamas.
” ‘Israel’ was interested in turning the victory that has been achieved into a Palestinian discomfort and a Palestinian division with its discrimination,” he said.
Hamas said it would petition Egypt to pressure ‘Israel’ into freeing all the Palestinian women in its jails, something it had wanted to happen in Sunday’s release.
Six women were among the released the detainees, of 11 in ‘Israeli’ jails, Riyad al-Ashqar, media director in Gaza’s Ministry of Prisoners, said earlier.
‘Israel’ also freed 55 under-18s out of 164 Palestinian children in ‘Israeli’ jails, according to recent figures from the UN agency UNICEF.
Ashqar said 506 detainees leaving jail are from the West Bank, 40 are from Gaza, two are from Jerusalem, as well as two Jordanian nationals.