Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet convened Sunday to vote on his decision to release of 104 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails since before the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Netanyahu late Saturday began calling up Likud ministers who are leaning toward voting against the move, in an effort to convince them otherwise. “There is no alternative. It is also difficult for me,” Netanyahu told one of the ministers. “We must renew the peace process.”
The prisoner release will take place in four stages, with the first group being released over the next few weeks following a meeting between Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat in Washington on Tuesday. The last release will take place in about nine months. The Israeli Arab prisoners included in the plan will be released only in the fourth phase of process.
The prisoners the Palestinians are demanding to release include Mohammed Tus, a former member of a South Hebron terror cell who murdered five Israelis; Mahmoud Harbish and Jomaa Adham, who threw a fire bomb at a bus in 1988, killing Israeli Rachel Weiss and her three young children and David Delarossa, the soldier who tried to rescue them from the burning vehicle; as well as, Gamil Hassan Abu Sarur and Hassan Abbed Abu Sarur, who took part in the murder of Shin Bet officer Haim Nahmani.
Read more at Haaretz.com.