Barghouti - AP - September 28, 2011
A Palestinian student at AL-Quds University in the West Bank city of Jenin, right, watches a rally in support of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. Photo by AP
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Marwan Barghouti, the head of Fatah's Tanzim armed wing, said Monday that he was not presented with the details of the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, nor was the general secretary of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmad Saadat.

Barghouti added in a statement to the press that even Hamas prisoner leaders were not consulted, and heard about the deal in the media.
"We were not told by anyone if we will be released or not released, they did not get our green light to the deal," Bargouti said, adding that "even the prisoners who are to be deported did know about it until the decision was taken."

On Sunday, Barghouti's long-time attorney, Elias Sabag, met with him in the Hadarim prison. Sabag said Barghouti welcomes the deal because it guarantees the release of 1,000 Palestinians, but that a close analysis shows that many of the prisoners to be freed in the second phase were about to be let go anyway.

Qadura Fares, a PLO official and director of the Palestinian Prisoners Society, criticized the deal because it does not include senior political leaders. "It's a mixture of joy and a missed opportunity," he said. "I'm happy that a thousand prisoners are being freed, but I feel that it's a missed opportunity that many political leaders - both local and military commanders - will remain in prison despite promises to the contrary."

Mahmoud al-Zahar, a top Hamas official, rejected the criticism. "Fatah and the Palestinian Authority cannot criticize the deal. Some time ago Abu Mazen offered to free Shalit in exchange for the removal of the Gaza blockade, without setting free even one prisoner," he told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "Of course, we rejected that idea."

Also on Sunday, a senior Egyptian official involved in the negotiations said that Israel had not ruled out Barghouti's release in the future. "They talked about a decision that would have to be reached in the inner cabinet, and the international situation that might be suitable for such a move," the official said.

Mahmoud al-Zahar, a top Hamas official, rejected the criticism. "Fatah and the Palestinian Authority cannot criticize the deal. Some time ago Abu Mazen offered to free Shalit in exchange for the removal of the Gaza blockade, without setting free even one prisoner," he told the London-based newspaper Al-Hayat, referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. "Of course, we rejected that idea."