BEIRUT: Family and friends of prisoners held in Israeli jails Tuesday urged Prime Minister Tammam Salam to seek help from the international community to pressure the Jewish state to treat the inmates humanely.
“We urge the prime minister to give this issue the attention required, through international contacts to put pressure on the Zionist enemy so that it would treat prisoner Yehia Skaff and the rest of the inmates humanely, and to allow the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit them and reveal their place of detention; and then release them and end this great tragedy,” said Jamal Skaff, brother of Yehia Skaff and head of the committee petitioning for his release.
Jamal Skaff headed a joint delegation of the Committee of Family and Friends of Prisoner Yehia Skaff and the Lebanese Association of Prisoners and Former Prisoners.
He expressed hope that the Lebanese government's efforts would complement those from the “brave resistance [Hezbollah] that liberated the majority of the territory and Lebanese prisoners ... and would continue its struggle to free the rest of our prisoners, in the forefront Yehia Skaff.”
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah has spoken about Skaff in the past, suggesting that he be made part of previous prisoner exchanges but without success.
According to his family, Yehia Skaff was detained by Israel in 1978 while taking part in a Palestinian militant operation, and subsequent reports by former detainees in Israeli prisons have acknowledged Skaff's presence there. Israel however has denied holding Skaff, instead alleging that he was killed during conflict and his body never found.