Second batch of Palestinian prisoners to be released Tuesday
Published Saturday 26/10/2013 (updated) 30/10/2013 21:12
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel will release 32 veteran prisoners on Tuesday in conjunction with ongoing peace negotiations, a Palestinian Authority official said.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Prisoners' Affairs Ziad Abu Ain said that the names of the 32 long-term prisoners will be announced on Sunday, and that they will be formally greeted when they are released on Tuesday.
PA Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe said that a total of 78 prisoners - all of whom have been in Israeli jails since 1994 or earlier - would be released by March of 2014.
Qaraqe additionally expressed his hope that Israel would release prisoners with deteriorating medical conditions.
Prior to the beginning of renewed peace negotiations, Israel announced that it would release a total of 104 Palestinian prisoner in stages. It released a batch of 26 prisoners in August after the negotiations began.
Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians were relaunched in July under the auspices of the United States after nearly three years of impasse.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.