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US Congressmen want freed Palestinians on terror list

October 29, 2011 09:54

33 lawmakers submit petition to Clinton; move comes after US State Department tells Israel some freed security prisoners pose a threat.

Palestinian prisoners enter Gaza from Egypt

Palestinian prisoners enter Gaza 311. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Thirty-three US congressmen on Friday petitioned Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and FBI Director Robert Mueller to put Palestinian terrorists freed by Israel in exchange for Sgt.

First Class Gilad Schalit on the US terrorist watch list, the American political journalism organization Politico reported.

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In the petition, they wrote, “Each of these released Palestinian prisoners has been convicted of a terrorism-related offense and should be treated as such,” according to the report.

Israel agreed to release 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners in exchange for Schalit.

On October 18, 477 Palestinian prisoners were released at the same time as Schalit, who had spent more than five years held captive by Hamas. Many of those released were imprisoned for murdering Israelis. Another 550 prisoners are slated to be released.

According to AFP, the United States praised Israel for agreeing to the prisoner swap, but also conveyed security concerns.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner, while refusing to go into detail over which of the 477 caused the concern, said some posed a threat and that the US had objected to their freedom.

Toner said, however, that Washington was not aware of any Palestinians who were denied release because of US concerns, saying the deal was a “sovereign decision” on Israel’s part, AFP reported.

Reuters contributed to this report
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