For years, in deference to the US, the Israeli government has fought to prevent their own agent, Jonathan Pollard, from receiving special prisoner status, even though he meets and exceeds eligibility requirements.
Moreover the Israeli political establishment, in concert with the defense establishment, has foot-dragged, obfuscated, and repeatedly scuttled Jonathan's legitimate rights as an Israeli agent by failing to implement his captivity status. Pollard's rights have been unfairly denied by Israel for 2 decades, even though it was generally known that granting him special prisoner status could be the key to seeking his release and thereby saving the life of an Israeli agent.
But now, under American pressure, Israeli leaders want to give special POW status to Palestinian murderers and terrorists. This status clears the way for Israel to bow to US demands to release murderers and terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands.
Marwan Barghouti, referenced in the article below as one of those who may receive the special status, is serving five life sentences for the murder of Israeli citizens. The blood of his victims screams from the earth, as Israel now considers rewarding this cold-blooded murderer with POW status, thus paving the way for his release.
PA: Israel may reconsider status of prisoners
Khaled Abu Toameh - The Jerusalem Post - Oct. 11, 2005
Israel was showing readiness to reconsider the status of Palestinian prisoners so that they would be seen as prisoners of war, Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoner Affairs Sufian Abu Zaida announced Tuesday.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Abu Zaida said that for the first time, Israel was ready to consider changing its policy and to recognize Palestinian security prisoners as POWs.
"On the issue of prisoners I am very happy, very happy. This is the first time Israel is considering changing its position regarding the release of prisoners," he said. "For the first time, the Israelis are saying they are ready to think about the prisoners in a different way."
Abu Zaida later explained that the prisoners, especially those who were arrested before the signing of the Oslo Accords, had been acting on the instructions of the PLO as part of the struggle against Israeli occupation.
"The entire PLO leadership is responsible for the prisoners," he explained. "These prisoners are therefore entitled to be classified as prisoners of war."
Abu Zaida said the PA was seeking the immediate release of veteran Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar and Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti. Israel's refusal to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners was behind the decision to postpone a planned summit between PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
"But the prisoners is an issue much bigger than Samir Kuntar or Marwan Barghouti," Abu Zaida said. "Yes, Samir has been in jail more than 25 years and that's enough, and Marwan's trial was in our eyes political, but this is a bigger issue."
The PA minister disclosed that Barghouti, who was arrested three years ago, was planning to run as a candidate in the next parliamentary elections. He said several other Fatah prisoners had announced that they would also contest the vote.
Abu Zaida said the PA had asked Israel to allow the prisoners, including Barghouti, to run in the elections.
Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said the PA was demanding the release of 20 prisoners who have been in jail for more than two decades. He said the list included Barghouti because he was a lawmaker.