RAMALLAH, Tuesday, March 23, 2021 (WAFA) – The Palestinian Prisoner Society (PPS) said today that two prisoners in Israeli jails, Rushdi Abu Mukh and Ibrahim Abu Mukh, have completed 35 years behind bars, noting that they are among 26 prisoners held since before the signing of the Palestinian-Israeli Oslo accords in 1993 and denied freedom by Israel.
The PPS said in a statement that 58-year-old Rushdi Abu Mukh, from Baqa al-Gharbiyeh Arab town in Israel, was supposed to be released this month after completing his 35-year sentence for his resistance of the occupation, but the Israeli authorities decided to keep him in prison for another month claiming that he had an unpaid traffic ticket since before his arrest in 1986.
Ibrahim Abu Mukh, 61, also from Baqa al-Gharbiyeh, was arrested on the same day with Rushdi.
The two prisoners were first sentenced to life in prison, which was later set to 35 years behind bars.
The Israeli authorities refused to release the two prisoners and a group of other Palestinian prisoners despite the many exchange deals that were reached during the years of their incarceration, the latest was in 2014 when Israel has reneged on a deal with then US Secretary of State John Kerry reached during political negotiations to release 30 of the longest-serving prisoners, most of them from inside Israel or occupied East Jerusalem, and decided to keep them behind bars.
To be noted, there are 12 prisoners from Arab towns in Israel behind bars and considered among the longest-serving prisoners in Israel.