Days Of Palestine – Ramallah
Nael Barghouthi, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli jails, 62, entered today his 40th year in Israeli jails, said the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS).
Barghouthi, from Ramallah’s Kobar town, had spent 33 years in Israeli jails before being released in the Egypt-brokered prisoner exchange deal between Hamas and Israel in October 2011.
The Israeli authorities arrested Barghouthi again in June 2014, along with 60 other Palestinian prisoners who were released in the prisoner exchange deal, sentencing him to 30 months in prison. He ended his sentence on December 17, 2016. However, on 22 February 2017, the Israeli Military Court of Ofer re-sentenced Barghouthi as per its initial verdict prior to the exchange deal, which was a life imprisonment and 18 years.
Re-arresting ex-prisoners released in a prisoner exchange deal is a political matter for which the Israeli government is responsible. The court does not have any legal grounds for Barghouthi’s continued detention, rather its decision to restore the previous verdict is arbitrary and legally baseless.