Spokeswoman Sivan Weizman of the Israel Prison Service said that Abdallah Barghouti gave an interview to Hamas radio using a mobile telephone “smuggled into the prison where he is being held, and has been placed in an isolation cell.”
The duration of his stay in solitary confinement has yet to be determined, she added.
During the interview, which lasted roughly four minutes, Barghouti urged Hamas and Izz al-Din al-Qassam, its military wing, to reach a deal with Israel on prisoner releases, the Ynet news website reported.
“We are steadfast and waiting patiently, according to your promise to us,” he said. “We will continue adhering to it whether we are released today or in another thousand years.”
He also called on Hamas’s military wing to have no mercy on “the Israeli enemy.”
Israel Prison Service officials said in response that “disciplinary measures will be taken against him for that interview, and the issue of the smuggling will be investigated.”
Barghouti is a Hamas commander and bomb-maker who was sentenced to 67 life terms for his involvement in several terror attacks, including the bombing of the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in August 2001 that killed 15 Israelis and wounded some 130. Abdullah Barghouti is a relative of Marwan Barghouti, the former head of Hamas’s rival organization, Fatah, in the West Bank. Marwan Barghouti is serving five life sentences for his own role in terror attacks against Israel.