Murmurs of Yahya Skaf, Another "Prisoner X" in "Israel"

 
By: Abdel Kafi al-Samad

Al-Akhbar, February 19, 2013

About a year ago, Jamal Skaf, a Lebanese now living in Australia received a phone call from an Australian rabbi. The topic discussed was Jamal’s brother, Yahya Skaf, a Lebanese prisoner disappeared in “Israeli” jail. The rabbi made Jamal an offer to see his brother, but under certain conditions.

The rabbi wanted $40 million, an amount he claimed would be distributed to the families of the 40 people killed in the resistance operation carried out in “Israel” by Yahya and his comrades on 11 March 1978.

The offer didn’t appeal to the family for several reasons. The first was financial – that kind of money would be impossible to collect. The second was the nature of the bargain; the whole affair seemed suspicious, like a trap of sorts.

Jamal told Al-Akhbar this story a while back. At the time, he explained that the issue was dismissed because the family found it “bizarre and illogical.” Yet when newspapers recently published the story of Australian Jewish prisoner Ben Zygier, or “Prisoner X,” Skaf’s family reconsidered that phone call.

This case revived questions about the unacknowledged status of certain prisoners held in “Israel’s” jails. Among those disappeared is Yahya, who was one of 13 fedayeen, or resistance fighters, under the leadership of Dalal al-Mughrabi that carried out an operation in the Zionist entity about 35 years ago. The “Kamal Adwan Operation,” as it was called in reference to the Palestinian leader, was a response to Adwan’s assassination on Beirut’s Verdun Street on 10 April 1973.

Since that time, there has been no news of Yahya. No one knows whether he was martyred or arrested.

His family pursued his case tirelessly with the hope that their son would one day return. The family even received news from released Arab and Palestinian prisoners who said that they met Yahya during their detention in “Israel”.

In addition, the family received a document from the International Red Cross, dated 11 September 2000, that confirms Yahya’s presence in Ashkelon Prison under the authority of the “Israeli” military intelligence.


In the last prisoner exchange between Hizbullah and “Israel”, Skaf’s family hoped that Yahya would be included, either dead or alive. They conducted DNA tests for this purpose, but Skaf was not among those returned. “Israel” still refuses to acknowledge that Yahya is in its custody.

Jamal, who was preparing to commemorate the 35th anniversary of Yahya’s 11 March 1978 arrest, was not surprised by the Prisoner X “scandal.”

He quickly connected the dots between this case and his brother’s “who was arrested as a wounded man.”

“He was transferred to Ramleh Hospital, which falls under the authority of the “Israeli” military intelligence. He was later seen by many prisoners suffering from bad health conditions and in need of treatment.”

Jamal called on Lebanese officials to work to reveal the fate of his brother. He also took the opportunity to call on the Palestinian and Lebanese resistance “to take the initiative and imprison “Israeli” soldiers in order to exchange them with our heroic prisoners.”

 

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this Blog!

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