Thursday, 13 October 2011

First 450 Palestinian prisoners won't be released for up to two weeks

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel will release 450 prisoners "in 10 to 14 days," including 279 detainees sentenced to life imprisonment, a senior Palestinian official familiar with the prisoner swap deal said Wednesday.

Of these, 110 prisoners will be released to their homes in the West Bank and 131 will return to the Gaza Strip, the official told Ma'an.

Of the 110 prisoners to be freed to the West Bank, 33 are affiliated to Fatah, 15 to the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the remainder are Hamas affiliates, the official told Ma'an.

Six of the prisoners to be released in the first phase are from Jerusalem, or inside Israel, and they will return to their homes, he added.

Some 203 prisoners from the West Bank will not be allowed to return home: 40 will be sent into exile in foreign countries and the rest will be sent to Gaza, he said.

The release will be the first phase of an agreement to free over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for an Israeli soldier held in Gaza since 2006. more