UN team visits Bassam al-Saadi in Israel’s Ofer Prison

Israeli Border Police forces outside Ofer prison in the West Bank (Issam Rimawi - Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  August 11, 2022

The UN Special Coordinator for the [so-called] Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, announced yesterday evening that a delegation from the international body visited the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement leader, Bassam al-Saadi, in Israel’s Ofer prison.

Wennesland said, in a tweet: “Today, I dispatched a UN team to visit Sheikh Al-Saadi in Ofer prison to follow-up on UN commitments to maintain calm in Gaza.”

He did not give details of 61-year-old Al-Saadi’s health, or the conditions of his detention in prison.

He went on to warn: “I reiterate that the ceasefire in Gaza is very fragile, and I call on all sides to preserve the calm.”

Last week, the Israeli army killed a Palestinian activist and arrested Al-Saadi after it stormed the Jenin refugee camp in the northern occupied West Bank. His arrest led to Israel launching a “preemptive” attack on Gaza on Friday.

On Sunday evening, an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Islamic Jihad movement in the Gaza Strip took effect after the three-day Israeli assault in which 44 Palestinians were killed, including 15 children.

On Tuesday, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said Tel Aviv had not committed to releasing Al-Saadi within the framework of the ceasefire agreement brokered by Egypt, despite Arab and Israeli media reports that this had been included in the talks.