ISSN 2330-717X

Deportee Urges Shalabi To Reject Gaza Deal


A Palestinian who was deported to Gaza in 2002 has urged Hana Shalabi not to accept a deal under which she will be deported.

Shalabi, from Jenin, ended a 43-day hunger strike on Thursday after reaching a deal with Israeli authorities that she will be deported to the Gaza Strip for three years.

Fahmi Canaan, from Bethlehem, was one of 26 Palestinians deported to Gaza in 2002 after taking shelter in the Nativity Church in Bethlehem. Israeli forces surrounded the church for 40 days before the deal was reached to deport the men inside, who were wanted by the Israeli army.

But Canaan said Thursday that the deportees were told they would be allowed to return home after two years but Israel reneged on the deal.

He said Israel did not abide by its agreements and warned that Shalabi may face the same fate.

Doctors had warned on Monday that Shalabi was at risk of heart failure and Canaan said Israeli negotiators used her condition to force her into the agreement.

He also warned that if Palestinian officials accept the deportation then Israel may try to deport other prisoners.

He urged the Palestinian Authority and Shalabi’s relatives to reject her deportation.

The Palestinian Authority minister of civil affairs, Hussein al-Sheikh, said Thursday that the leadership in Ramallah was not involved in the negotiations as it rejects Israel’s deportation policy.

The deal apparently followed talks between Shalabi and the Israeli government, he said.

Palestinian Prisoners Society head Qadoura Fares on Thursday also rejected Shalabi’s deportation.

“But this is her decision and her own life,” Fares said.

PA Minister of Detainee Affairs Issa Qaraqe told Ma’an his ministry rejects the policy and considers it a war crime.

Hana Shalabi was subjected to pressure from the Israeli intelligence services and was taken advantage of due to her deteriorating condition, Qaraqe told Ma’an following the deal.

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Launched in 2005, Ma'an News Agency (MNA) publishes news around the clock in Arabic and English, and is among the most browsed websites in the Palestinian territories, with over 3 million visits per month.

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