BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Israel released 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners Tuesday at 2.15 a.m. completing a third stage of the release of 104 prisoners held in Israeli jails before the Oslo Accords of 1994.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to set the prisoners free before peace talks between Israel and the PLO were resumed in July.
Eighteen prisoners from the West Bank were released from Ofer detention center near the Ramallah-area town of Beitunia, while five prisoners from Jerusalem were set free at al-Zaytouna checkpoint near al-Ezariya in East Jerusalem.
Three inmates from the Gaza Strip were freed at Erez checkpoint on the borders between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip.
The West Bank prisoners headed immediately to the presidential compound in Ramallah where they were welcomed by President Mahmoud Abbas along with PA officials and thousands of citizens. more