Israel begins preparing list of prisoners for release

Israeli military and justice officials began preparing a list Tuesday of Palestinian prisoners who could be released as part of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's promise to President Mahmoud Abbas at a regional summit Monday night.

Israel begins preparing list of prisoners for release
Israeli military and justice officials began preparing a list Tuesday of Palestinian prisoners who could be released as part of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's promise to President Mahmoud Abbas at a regional summit Monday night.

Israel Radio quoted Deputy Defence Minister Ephraim Sneh as saying that once the decision was made to free the prisoners, the task of drawing up the list became a 'mere technicality.'

Olmert, attending the summit with Abbas, Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II, said that as a goodwill gesture to the Palestinians, Israel would free 250 prisoners who had 'no blood on their hands' - Israeli terminology for those who have not killed Israelis.

The prisoners would have to sign a pledge not to return to violence, Olmert said.

The premier said he would bring the proposal to free the prisoners to his cabinet at its next weekly meeting Sunday.

The number of Palestinians Olmert promised to release - 250 - falls far short of Palestinian demands. But nonetheless the Israeli leader came under fire from hawkish politicians, with opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu saying it was a 'wrong, harmful message' to send.

Last Mod: 26 Haziran 2007, 20:49
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