Releasing prisoner Samer Essawi
December 23, 2013

The administration of Shatta prison released on Monday night the 34-year old Jerusalemite prisoner Samer Essawi after spending a year and a half in the occupation’s prisons where he went on a hunger strike for 9 months to condemn his re-arrest after he was released in the deal between Hamas movement and Israel.  The Israeli authorities purposely delayed the release of Samer and his family waited since the morning in front of the gates of the prison until Samer was released at 7 p.m. After hugging and welcoming him, Samer and his family headed towards the village of Esawyeh where the rest of his family and locals of the village have been waiting since the morning to celebrate his freedom; they also hung Palestinian flags and sang national songs. The Israeli forces were stationed at the entrance of the village and the roads leading to it; note that they handed the family an order to prevent them from organizing ceremonies in the streets of the village to welcome the freed prisoner. In a press release, Samer Essawi stressed on the importance of Palestinian unity which will lead to achievements, and considered his fight during the “hunger strike” to be a model that was achieved with the will of the Palestinian people, and thanked all Palestinians who supported him during his strike. He also confirmed that the hunger strike he went on was in support of the locals of Gaza strip who paid a high price during the siege of the Israeli soldier, “Gilad Shalit”. Samer condemned the delaying of his release in order to spoil the joy of the Jerusalemite people and prevent them from celebrating. Upon Samer’s arrival to the village, hundreds of Jerusalemites welcomed him and chanted slogans in support of the prisoners despite the presence of Israeli forces; they also praised his legendary steadfastness and insistence on a return to Jerusalem. Detention on Z’ayem checkpoint The Israeli forces detained Ihab Zghayyar and Ashraf Zarba at the Z’ayem checkpoint who were riding their motorbike. They allowed all the cars that were participating in the welcoming of Samer Essawi to pass except for the two men; the Israeli forces then released them after asking them few questions.