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Israel set to release Palestinian prisoners - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel says it will shortly release 229 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to the western-backed government of President Mahmoud Abbas.

The prisoners were to have been let out last week for the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday but Israel says that Palestinian officials asked for their release to be postponed until Abbas returned from a pilgrimage to Mecca and was able to personally greet the freed prisoners.

A senior Abbas aide denied the president made such a request.

Israel’s prison service said Sunday that the prisoners would be set free Monday morning. All of them belong to Abbas’ Fatah movement.

Israel is holding peace talks with Abbas and his West Bank-based administration while shunning the rival Hamas government in the Gaza Strip.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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