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Israel publishes list of 26 Palestinians to be freed
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 13 - 08 - 2013

The mother of Palestinian Salah Al-Shaer, who has been held by Israel for 20 years, kisses his picture after hearing news on the expected release of her son in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip, on Monday. – Reuters
Mohammed Mar'i
Saudi Gazette
RAMALLAH – The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) published on Sunday overnight a list of the 26 Palestinian prisoners who will be released from Israeli jails as a gesture of goodwill to the Palestinians ahead of renewed peace negotiations after a ministerial panel approved their release.
The list includes 15 prisoners to be released into the Gaza Strip in the next 48 hours, several of which are Hamas members. The remaining 11 will be transferred to the West Bank. The list did not include Arab Palestinian inside Israel. Eight of the prisoners were slated to be released over the next three years, having served out their sentences. Two were already slated for release in the next six months.
The names and ID numbers of the prisoners were listed alongside the names of their “victims”. The Israeli law stipulates that the names of the prisoners must be published 48 hours before their release on the IPS's website for appeals by families of “terror” victims.
The Israeli ministerial committee appointed to determine which Palestinian prisoners will be the first to be released approved a list of 26 prisoners to be released on Tuesday. The committee members are Tzipi Livni, Yaakov Peri, Moshe Ya'alon and Yitzhak Aharonovich. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is recovering from a hernia operation, was not present in the meeting.
The government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu approved early this month the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners, who were arrested before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, in order to facilitate the resumption of peace talks and “to strengthen (Palestinian President) Mahmoud Abbas.”
Some 5,100 Palestinian and Arab prisoners remain in Israeli jails.
Qaddoura Faris, head of Palestinian Prisoners Club, expressed disappointment following the publication of the names. Faris, former Minister of Detainees and Ex-detainees, said that he expected the list to contain the names of well known prisoners whose release would have raised public support for the negotiations.
Earlier, Abbas said the release of the 104 prisoners will be made in four stages, and no prisoner will be deported from his homeland. Abbas added that prisoners' release will improve the chances to reach a peace deal with Israel.
For its part, the Almagor Association, which represents families of victims of terror, slammed the government's decision.
Meir Indor, Almagor head, said that “this is a day of celebration for the Palestinian terror organizations, and a sad day for bereaved families and for Israeli society.”
Indor accused the Israeli government of “caving in to terror and covering this up with an array of PR stunts,” and vowed to “turn heaven and earth to fight against terror and to bring the terrorists to justice.”
The prisoners will be released a day before the next round of peace talks are set to begin in Jericho.
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators held their first talks last month, brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry who traveled to the region no less than six times in recent months to get the sides to agree to a renewal of talks. The sides have agreed to a nine month timeline in an attempt to reach an agreement and end the conflict.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces operating in several West Bank areas arrested 12 “wanted” Palestinians, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.


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