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Israel’s High Court Will Rule on a Petition Against Releasing Palestinian Prisoners

The High Court of Justice was asked on Wednesday to reject a petition to overturn a government decision to release 104 Palestinian prisoners.

In a response to a petition filed by the Almagor Terror Victims Association against freeing the prisoners, many of whom were responsible for terror attacks that killed and maimed Israelis, the State Prosecution told the court that it had rejected such petitions in the past and in general refrained from intervening in diplomatic issues.

The prisoners in question, all of whom committed their crimes before the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, are slated for release as a gesture of goodwill to the Palestinians ahead of the resumption of peace talks.

The prosecution argued that the petition ought to be rejected sooner rather than later, since the ministerial panel authorized to oversee the releases is scheduled to convene in the coming days to approve next week’s release of a first group of prisoners. That will be the first of four groups to be let go; the rest will be released in accordance with the progress of the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in the coming months.

In the state’s response, the prosecution refers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks on the issue, as well as the cabinet decision made two weeks ago, which the ministers passed by a vote of 13-7, with two abstentions.

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