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Israel to release 230 Palestinian prisoners on Tuesday
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09:01, December 08, 2008

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Israel has decided on Sunday to release 230 prisoners on Tuesday as a goodwill gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to mark the upcoming Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

According to a statement issued by Israeli Prime Minister's office, the ministerial committee overseeing the release of Palestinian prisoners made the decision following a cabinet approval of the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners last Sunday.

Some 20 names were removed from the original list following objections by several ministers, who were opposed to releasing prisoners into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The 230 prisoners to be released are all Fatah-affiliated and are "without blood on their hands," according to the ministerial committee.

The committee is headed by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who promised to set free 250 Palestinian prisoners during his November meeting in Jerusalem with Abbas.

In August, Israel released 198 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to Abbas.

According to official figures, Israel holds more than 11,000 Palestinian prisoners in its jails, most of whom were arrested during the second Intifada (uprising) which erupted against Israel in the Palestinian territories in late September 2000.


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