March 7, 2017 Special Dispatch No. 6816

Palestinian Authority, Fatah Members Participate In Celebrations In Israeli City For Arab-Israeli Prisoner Released After Serving 15-Year Terrorism Sentence

March 7, 2017
Israel, Palestine | Special Dispatch No. 6816

On February 27, 2017, the Israeli city of Lod hosted a reception and celebration for Hafez 'Abd Al-Fattah Muqabal, a local resident, who was released from Israeli prison after serving a 15-year sentence for perpetrating a 2002 terrorist attack at the Maccabim Security Checkpoint and for possession of illegal weapons.[1]

The event was organized by Israeli-Arab Lod residents and was attended by Muqabal's family and members of the Arab scouts, who held a musical procession in his honor.[2] The attendees also included released prisoners and a delegation from East Jerusalem, representing the Fatah movement's Jerusalem region.[3]

'Awad Al-Salaymeh , a Fatah member in Jerusalem, said during the ceremony: "The issue of the prisoners is a top priority for the Palestinian national leadership, which will not rest until all the brave prisoners are released." Jerusalem Palestinian Prisoners' Club director Nasser Kos said that "the prisoners [represent] the true meaning of steadfastness and sacrifice for the sake of an honorable life in the homeland that the occupation is attempting to Judaize."[4]

Muqabal himself thanked Fatah in Jerusalem, stating: "My joy is incomplete, as I have left my prisoner brothers behind in the occupation prisons under harsh conditions."[5]

The reception hall was decorated with Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah flags, as well as Fatah posters expressing joy at Muqabal's release.

Poster at the event featuring Fatah in Jerusalem's message of congratulations for the released prisoner (, February 27, 2017)

Poster featuring the caption "The released prisoner, Hafez 'Abd Al-Fattah Muqabal the hero" (, February 27, 2017)

Muqabal hoisted on another man's shoulders at the celebration (, February 27, 2017)

PA and Fatah flags at the event (, February.2,.2017)

Several days later, on March 1, 2017, Muqabal's home in Lod was visited by Ramallah Governor Laila Ghannam, Fatah Secretary in Ramallah Muwaffaq Sahwil, and other Fatah members. A Fatah poster offering congratulations on his release was also hung in the home.[6]


(, March 1, 2017)

PA officials honored the released prisoner and held a reception for the released prisoner in Ramallah as well. At the reception, Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Minister 'Issa Karaka and Palestinian Prisoners' Club head Qadura Fares were photographed with Muqabal in front of a poster that reads: "The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Ministry and the Palestinian Prisoners' Club welcome the released prisoner, the fighter Hafez Muqabal."[7]

The released prisoner holding the citation is flanked to his right by 'Issa Karaka and to his left by Qadura Fares (, March 1, 2017)


[1] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), February 27, 2017.

[2], February 27, 2017;, February 28, 2017.

[3] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), February 27, 2017.

[4] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), February 27, 2017.

[5] Al-Hayat Al-Jadida (PA), February 27, 2017.

[6], March 1, 2017.

[7], March 1, 2017.

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