Israel assembling Palestinian prisoners ahead of release
Published Monday 28/10/2013 (updated) 30/10/2013 21:15
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- The Israeli Prison Service has started to round up 26 Palestinian prisoners who will be freed Tuesday night as a second group of 104 that Israel agreed to release as part of a gesture to coincide with the PLO's return to peace talks.
Hassan Abed Rabbo, a spokesman for the Palestinian ministry of prisoners’ affairs, told Ma’an on Monday that the prison service started to gather all prisoners at Ofer detention center ahead of the release.
He added that the Israeli Higher Court was giving families of Israelis who were killed in Palestinian attacks 48 hours to raise objections to the decision to free veteran Palestinian prisoners.
The time limit ends at midnight on Tuesday.
Abed Rabbo highlighted that the expected objections were just “routine procedures” and would not affect the deal. The court, he said, will reply that the decision to free prisoners is a political decision and not within its jurisdiction.
Israel is expected to free 26 prisoners who have been in custody since before the PLO and Israel signed the Oslo Accord in 1994. Twenty-one prisoners are from the West Bank and five are from the Gaza Strip.