Monday, 12 August 2013

Israel release list is mostly of prisoners already due to be freed soon


BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A list of 26 prisoners due to be released by Israel has divided opinion among Palestinian officials, with some lauding the move while others say the shortlist aims to undermine negotiations.

The Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe, on Monday said Israel's decision to release the first group of Palestinian prisoners was an important step for promoting peace.

Abbas Zaki, a member of Fatah's Central Committee, also welcomed the prisoner release, saying freeing all Palestinian detainees was a key priority.

But a senior Palestinian official, who wished to remain anonymous, told Ma'an that Israel had made a "childish decision" in choosing which prisoners were to be released.

Some prisoners, such as Jameel Abdul Wahab Jamal Al-Natsheh, have only 30 days of their sentence remaining, while two are due to be released in six months and eight others have only a few months remaining to serve.

The fact that so many prisoners on the list will be released shortly anyway was carefully chosen to thwart peace talks, the official said. more

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