RealNews

Israeli Cabinet OKs Release of Militants

Israel’s Cabinet voted Sunday to release jailed Islamic militants, partially satisfying a Palestinian demand in peace talks and strengthening Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s hand ahead of a meeting with President Bush. A senior Israeli official traveling with Sharon said that about 540 prisoners would be released within a week — about 210 from the militant Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups, about the same number from Fatah, headed by Yasser Arafat and Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, and the rest criminals, Ministers voted 14-9 to authorize the release, reversing government resistance to freeing members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The two groups are responsible for most of the suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis in three years of violence. Full Story

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