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Israel Releases 250 More Palestinian Prisoners

From their comrades in arms at Reuters:

Israel frees scores of Palestinian prisoners

By Mohammed Assadi

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Israel (Reuters) – Israel released more than 250 Palestinian prisoners on Friday as part of a U.S.-backed deal to bolster Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after Hamas Islamists took over the Gaza Strip last month.

The prisoners, who were mostly members of Abbas’s secular Fatah faction, arrived in the West Bank city of Ramallah where they were greeted by Abbas and reunited with family members.

“You cannot imagine how happy we are that you came back to us,” Abbas told a crowd of about 3,000 at the presidential compound. “But our happiness is missing something because we want all 11,000 prisoners to return to their families.” …

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has described his decision to free 256 low-security prisoners, most of them with relatively short sentences left to run, as a goodwill gesture to bolster Abbas’s new government.

An Israeli Prisons Service spokesman said that the prisoners released had at least one year left to their sentence. Olmert said he would not release prisoners with “blood on their hands.” More than 10,000 Palestinian prisoners are still held by Israel.

Apart from the release of prisoners, Israel has agreed to stop hunting dozens of militants loyal mainly to Fatah groups like the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, in return for promises that they have handed in weapons and joined formal security forces…

Yes, this will undoubtedly create all kinds of “good will.”

It might even be days before these heroes take up arms again against Israel.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, July 20th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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