Thursday, December 13, 2018

Israel to release 26 Palestinian prisoners

By Editor - August 07, 2013
Section: [Main News] [Life under Occupation]
Tags: [prisoners] [pre-Oslo prisoners] [Palestinian in Israel] [Palestinian Authority] [Peace Process]

Israeli jail cell.  Photo Courtesy of Reuters

Israel is set to release 26 prisoners next week, august 13th, the first of four “batches” of Palestinian detainees who are scheduled to be freed during the course of the peace talks.

In a statement on Sunday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat confirmed “the release of veteran prisoners will be in four batches as Israel refused to release them all at once.” 

The Israeli cabinet approved the release of a total of 104 prisoners last week.  Israeli officials have said prisoners will be released every six to eight weeks according to the progress made during the negotiations.

All of the 104 Palestinian prisoners were incarcerated prior to the implementation of the Oslo accords, most serving life sentences in one of the ten Israeli military Prisons.  

The “goodwill gesture” by Israel has done little to quell widespread skepticism around the chances of success in the renewed peace talks.   In Palestine every major political faction, outside of ruling Fatah, have come out against the negotiations.  

In an inteview with Al-Monitor,  Rabah Mhanna, senior memeber of the Popular Front for Liberation Of Palestine (PFLP) party said the peace talks were "political suicide" that resuming negotiations "will only lend Isreal more legitimacy and give it free hands to commit more crimes while providing a cover for its ongoing atrocious policies in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank." 

Talks between Isreali and Palestinian negotiators will resume next week in Jerusalem.  The last round of negotiations collapsed in 2010 in the midst of continued Israeli settlment expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

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