Israel to release 230 Palestinian prisoners Tuesday

December 8th, 2008 - 2:23 am ICT by IANS  

Jerusalem, Dec 8 (Xinhua) Israel Sunday said that it will release 230 Palestinian prisoners Tuesday as a goodwill gesture to mark the upcoming Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. According to a statement issued by the Israeli prime minister’s office, the ministerial committee overseeing the release of Palestinian prisoners made the decision following a cabinet approval of the release last Sunday.

Some 20 names were removed from the original list following objections by several ministers who were opposed to releasing prisoners into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The 230 prisoners to be released are all Fatah-affiliated and are “without blood on their hands”, according to the ministerial committee.

The committee is headed by Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who promised to set free 250 Palestinian prisoners during his November meeting in Jerusalem with Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas.

In August, Israel released 198 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to Abbas.

More than 11,000 Palestinian prisoners are currently lodged in Israel’s jails, most of them were arrested during the second Intifada (uprising) that erupted against Israel in Palestinian territories in late September 2000.

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