The legal department in the President's Bureau has begun dealing with pardons for Palestinian prisoners who are to be released in exchange for hijacked soldier Gilad Schalit, who if all goes according to plan, will be returned to Israel on Tuesday, after more than five years in captivity.
An announcement issued by the President's spokeswoman on Saturday night stated that attorney Emi Palmor, the head of the Pardons Division in the Justice Ministry was expected to deliver all the files pertaining to the prisoners listed for release soon after the conclusion of the Sabbath. According to the statement the files included recommendations by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman.The President's legal department headed by attorney Orit Corinaldi Sirkis was ready to deal with the pardons from the moment of their arrival, and to prepare each in an orderly fashion for President Shimon Peres to sign.
The President does not have to follow the recommendations of the Justice Minister. Even though Peres may have reservations about a large number of the pardons that are being given to prisoners who not only have blood on their hands, but are responsible for terrorist attacks in which several people were murdered at once, he is unlikely to do anything that will jeopardize the exchange deal – especially after his emotional on camera meeting last week with Gilad Schalit's parents Noam and Aviva.