sayad - Moti Kimche - June 27 2011
Abbas Sayad. Photo by Moti Kimche
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Lior Mizrahi
Ahmad Sa’adat. Photo by Lior Mizrahi
Gil Eliyahu
Abdullah Barghouti Photo by Gil Eliyahu

At least eight Palestinian prisoners are incarcerated in isolation in Israeli prisons for security reasons. These inmates, mostly Hamas members, are at the top of the prisoner list under discussion between Israel and the Islamic organization in talks for the release of Gilad Shalit.

All told, there are some 50 Palestinian prisoners held in isolation in Israeli jails. There are three categories that warrant holding a prisoner in isolation. The first relates to emotionally unstable prisoners who pose a threat to themselves and their surroundings. The second involves prisoners held in isolation due to their own request, the threat they pose to other inmates or the threats posed to them. The third category involves convicted terrorists who continue to be involved with terror when behind bars.

A prisoner held in isolation receives one hour each day outside his cell. Every two months, the Red Cross visits such prisoners. The isolation cell usually has a television and other electrical appliances. Every six months, a District Court judge has to reapprove the holding of prisoners in isolation.

The following is a list of some Palestinian security prisoners who are, or have been, held in isolation:

Abdullah Barghouti was born in Kuwait and is held responsible for the deaths of 66 Israelis. He has been in isolation since 2003.

Yehiya Sanwar, a Hamas prisoner from Khan Yunis, has been held in prison since the late 1980s, after being prosecuted for murdering suspected collaborators with Israel. In prison, he was involved in the planning of terror acts, including the kidnapping of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman. Mahmoud Sanwar, his brother, is a high-ranking Hamas official in the Gaza Strip.

Zaher Jabarin is one of Hamas' top men in the West Bank. From Salfit, he was arrested in 1993 and convicted of killing IDF soldier Gitai Avisar in the West Bank, and of involvement in an attempted car bomb strike in 1992. He has served intermittently as chairman of the committee for Hamas prisoners. He has been held in isolation several times, and was recently sent back to isolation.

Tzalah Dar Musafor of Beit Lakia was sentenced to 17 life terms for his involvement in the planning of terror strikes against Beit Hillel and at Tzrifin in 2003.

Abbas Sayad, a leading Hamas figure from Tul Karm, was arrested in 2002 and convicted for planning the terror strike at Netanaya's Park Hotel at Passover that year. He holds an extremist ideology against Israel, and has been held in isolation since he was arrested.

Ahmad Sa'adat, secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was convicted of involvement in the plot to assassinate minister Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001. He has been held in isolation since 2009.

Ibrahim Hamad heads Hamas' military branch on the West Bank. He is charged with responsibility in the murder of 46 Israelis; his trial is still underway. The Shin Bet security service views him as a major component in Hamas' forging of terror policy. He has been held in isolation since 2006.