Israeli Ministers To Decide Which Palestinian Prisoners To Release First

First Round of Release Slated for Day Before Talks

By JTA

Published August 11, 2013.
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A committee of Israeli government ministers is meeting to decide which Palestinian prisoners will be freed in the first round of peace talks.

The first 26 prisoners, out of a list of 104, are set to be freed this week, a day before negotiations resume Wednesday in Jerusalem.

Sunday’s meeting will take place without Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who underwent surgery late Saturday night to repair a hernia.

The rest of the committee is made up of Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Science Minister Yaakov Peri, and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch. The committee will use recommendations by the Shin Bet security service to help guide its decisions.

Palestinian prisoners jailed before the 1993 Oslo Accords will be released in phases over the next eight months, pending progress in the peace talks.

The Cabinet approved the phased releases last month by a vote of 13-7, with two abstentions, in an effort to jump start renewed peace negotiations.

Families of terror victims and their supporters on Sunday held a protest march from Mount Herzl, where a monument dedicated to victims of terror attacks stands, to the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem, where a hearing was scheduled to be held on an attempt to block the release.


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