Monday’s rally, organized by the Hamas movement, was held in front of the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and was attended by officials of various political movements along with former prisoners who were freed in the deal.
He argued that Palestinian prisoners could only be freed by force, saying that “what was taken by force, can only be restored by force.”Abu Fnoun declared that the resistance “will not lay down their weapons,” and would continue fighting against Israel until its goals were achieved.
He said that the message of the resistance was the same message delivered by Misbah Abu Sbeih, Muhammad Faqih, and Muhannad Shafiq Halabi — three Palestinians who were all killed by Israeli soldiers or police after carrying out or allegedly carrying out deadly attacks against Israelis over the past year.
Abu Fnoun also described the years spent in negotiations before the exchange deal as “bitter,” and commended the heroism of Ahmad Said Khalil al-Jaabari and other slain Palestinians who were involved in kidnapping Shalit. Hani Thawabta, an official for the left-wing Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), also affirmed that the resistance in the Gaza Strip would aim to kidnap more Israeli soldiers to exchange them for Palestinian prisoners.
“Confrontation with the enemy is not an easy path. It requires major sacrifice and determination,” he said.The first phase of the Shalit prisoner swap deal between Hamas and Israel was carried out on Oct. 18, 2011, when Israel released 477 Palestinian detainees in exchange for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held captive by Hamas for five years.
The deal was completed in December 2011, when 550 further Palestinian detainees were released from Israeli prisons.However, since their release, Israel has initiated mass detention campaigns to bring hundreds of former prisoners released in the exchange back into Israeli custody, in violation of the agreement.
Hamas has repeatedly insisted that Israel must release all prisoners who were freed as part of the deal but have since been redetained, before starting talks in a new prisoner swap deal.