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Fatah and Hamas officials announce unity deal
26 prisoners moved to Ofer prison ahead of release
Published Sunday 29/12/2013 (updated) 31/12/2013 12:18
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(MaanImages/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's prison administration transferred 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners to a jail near Ramallah ahead of their imminent release, a Palestinian official said.

Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Issa Qaraqe said that the Israeli prison administration brought the prisoners -- who are scheduled to be released at 1 a.m. Tuesday -- to Ofer prison, west of Ramallah.

The prisoners will have a medical check-up before their release, Qaraqe said.

A statement from the Israeli government warned that any "violent conduct" by any prisoner would result in his re-arrest and a continuation of his original sentence.

Israel agreed to release 104 veteran Palestinian prisoners who have been in custody since before the 1993 Oslo Accords as part of a plan to resume peace negotiations after talks were halted for more than two years.

The release of the 26 Palestinian prisoners set for Dec. 31 is the third part of that four-stage deal, and Israel has already released 52 prisoners in two previous rounds.

Before the names of this round of prisoners were made public, Israeli military radio said Netanyahu would announce the construction of 1,400 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank coinciding with the release.
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