In the name of Allah the most gracious the most merciful
Press release On the occasion of implementing the “Devotion of the Free” prisoner exchange deal
Ezzedeen Al Qassam Brigades in its position at the forefront of resistance in Palestine congratulates the Palestinian people, the Arab and Islamic nations and freedom loving people worldwide on the occasion of this historic achievement; the implementation of the “Devotion of the Free” prisoner exchange. On this historical day, Al Qassam Brigades is keen to stress the following points:
1- This occasion is truly epic, starting with the “Dispelled Illusion” operation [June 25th, 2006] that the dispelled illusion of the occupier and resulted in the imprisonment at one soldier. This was the first time in more than 50 prisoner exchanges since 1948 that on the Israeli soldier is taken prisoner during combat operation in a military outpost on the lands occupied in 1948.
After the operation a fierce intelligence battle ensued to hold the prisoner more than five years, during the span there was the battle of steadfastness and perseverance of our people in the face of the occupation death and destruction machine. There was also prisoners’ battle determination and steadfastness. These parts of the epic were crowned by a political battle during a negotiation process characterized by awareness and ability that brought about this victorious moment.
This is an achievement of the Palestinian people as a whole despite Hamas’ and Al Qassam’s leading role in meeting the challenge, fighting battle, and bringing about the achievement
2- We treated the prisoner as well as can be in accordance with our Islamic ethics through the years, simultaneously, the occupation perpetrated oppressive, vengeful measures against our prisoners, while the “civilized” world watching. This puts a responsibility before freedom loving people worldwide to work to put the humanitarian issue of Palestinian prisoners of the forefront of their priorities.
3- Our negotiation team exerted extreme efforts, but the complicated circumstances surrounding the negotiations did not allow for the release of more prisoners who have spent decades in a jail. As a result we say to the occupiers that their leadership has destined you to another episode of rejecting the release of prisoners who have spent decades in jail and those who suffer serious illness.
4- We renew our thanks and gratitude to all who contributed towards realizing this achievement whether they be individuals, organizations, governments or nations.
5- If one episode of this epic is finished there are others that we will go through till all prisoners are realized.
Ezzeddeen Al-Qassam Brigades
October 18th, 2011