Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Israel to free second group of Palestinian prisoners - 21 to West Bank and 5 to Gaza

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel on Tuesday was preparing to release 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the second batch of 104 inmates who are to be freed in line with commitments to US-brokered peace talks.

The release, which is due to take place late on Tuesday night, will see 21 prisoners returned to their homes in the West Bank and the remaining five returning home to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

All were convicted for killing Israelis, with most of the attacks occurring before the 1993 Oslo Accords, which granted the Palestinian Authority limited self-rule, but failed to bring about an independent state.

Of the 26, all but two prisoners were serving life sentences. more

Outrage as Palestinian child faces possible life prison sentence for throwing stones

A Palestinian child, identified as Mohammad Mahdi Suleiman, 15 years of age, could face a life-term by an Israeli court for “throwing stones at the soldiers, and endangering their lives”.

The child is from Hares village, near the central West Bank district of Salfit. He will be sent to court in the coming few days.

The Israeli Prosecution said it intends to ask for the highest penalty that could reach up to a life in prison, the Wa’ed Society for Detainees has reported.

Wa’ed said that the child was kidnapped on March 15 this year, after Israeli soldiers violently broke into his home and searched it.

He was then sent to a military court and the Israeli prosecutor’s office demanded that the child be sentenced to a life-term for throwing stones at the soldiers, and engendering their lives.

Wa’ed said that this is an unprecedented violation and abuse targeting the child, one of the youngest prisoners in the world, and called on the UNICEF and international human rights groups to intervene, and perform their moral and legal duty to protect the children. more

Israel assembling Palestinian prisoners ahead of release

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Israeli Prison Service has started to round up 26 Palestinian prisoners who will be freed Tuesday night as a second group of 104 that Israel agreed to release as part of a gesture to coincide with the PLO's return to peace talks.

Hassan Abed Rabbo, a spokesman for the Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs, told Ma’an on Monday that the prison service started to gather all prisoners at Ofer detention center ahead of the release.

He added that the Israeli Higher Court was giving families of Israelis who were killed in Palestinian attacks 48 hours to raise objections to the decision to free veteran Palestinian prisoners.

The time limit ends at midnight on Tuesday. more