Israeli ministers set to choose 26 Palestinian prisoners for first stage of release 12Aug13 August 12, 2013

Haaretz    -    11 August 2013

1261662704A special ministerial committee on the release of Palestinian prisoners will meet Sunday to decide which 26 Palestinian prisoners will be the first to be freed this week, as an Israeli gesture of goodwill ahead of the resumption of peace talks.

All the 104 prisoners to be released were convicted of murdering Israelis in terror attacks that took place before the Oslo Accords were signed.

After the meeting, the names of the prisoners to be freed will be posted on the Israel Prison Service website, to allow those who wish to petition the High Court of Justice to do so within 48 hours.

The first prisoners are expected to be released on Tuesday. A day later, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume peace talks in Jerusalem.

During the next eight months, approximately 80 more Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel since before Oslo will be freed, in three groups every two to three months.

They will be released in accordance with the recommendations of the Shin Bet security service regarding danger they pose.  Israel may ask in the coming rounds of prisoner releases that some of the prisoners be kept out of the Gaza Strip or be deported abroad.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyah’s cabinet approved the decision nearly three weeks ago, in a vote of 13-7, with two abstentions.

Israeli and Palestinian representatives held their first round of peace negotiations in nearly three years in Washington on July 30 in U.S.-mediated efforts to end the conflict of more than six decades.

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