Islamic Jihad Threatens to End Ceasefire if Prisoners Not Released in a Week

By Hamodia Staff

Members of Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, Monday. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM – After the first day of the ceasefire with Palestinian Islamic Jihad passed amid reports that it was “holding,” the terrorist group’s head threatened that if their demand for release of prisoners is not met, the ceasefire will not hold much longer.

Ziad Nakhaleh told the PIJ news outlet that they had conditioned the ceasefire on Israel releasing two members of the group: Bassam al-Saadi, its chief operative in Yehuda and Shomron, whose arrest precipitated the three days of fighting, and Khalil Awawdeh, who is currently on a hunger strike in protest against his administrative detention by Israel.

“From the very beginning, we insisted that the two leaders be freed…in the end the enemy conceded to these demands, with explicit Egyptian guarantees,” Nakhaleh said.

Nakhaleh said that PIJ told the Egyptians that Israel has one week to release the prisoners or it will call off the ceasefire.

Israeli officials deny they agreed to the condition, only that they would discuss the matter with the Egyptian mediators and would address any humanitarian concerns. They do not intend to release either man early, they were quoted as saying.

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