RealNews

Israel to Release Some Prisoners, Sets Tough Terms

Israel’s cabinet today approved the release of some Palestinian prisoners in a bid to keep advancing a new peace process, but the measure fell short of what Palestinians had demanded and threatened to unravel a tenuous, week-old cease-fire. In a 13-9 vote, the cabinet agreed to release only those Palestinians who had not been convicted of killing Israelis and who were not members of the militant groups Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Resistance Movement, or Hamas. Officials added that Palestinians who they believed might commit future terrorist acts and those who had dispatched militants to kill Israelis also would not be eligible for release, officials said. Cabinet officials said after the meeting that perhaps several hundred Palestinians could be released under the plan — far short of the Palestinian demand that all of their prisoners be freed. According to Israeli figures, about 5,800 Palestinian political prisoners are in Israeli jails. Palestinians say the number is closer to 8,000. Full Story

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