Fatah leader: Release 120 prisoners as gesture to PA

PA asks Israel to free prisoners jailed before the Oslo Accords.

June 6, 2013 09:16
Palestinian collaborator in Hamas jail in Gaza [file].

Palestinian prisoners in Hamas jail 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem )

The Palestinian Authority is urging Israel to release 120 Palestinian prisoners that have been jailed since prior to the Oslo Accords, Fatah Central Committee member Hussein al-Sheikh told Israel Radio on Thursday.

The list of 120 names has been passed on to both Israel and to US Secretary of State John Kerry, and while the PA leadership is still awaiting answer, a few Israeli officials have expressed a "positive position" on the matter, according to al-Sheikh.

Al-Sheikh said this gesture of good will on Israel's part will help advance the peace process.

"Releasing 120 Palestinian prisoners, I am certain, will provide a good atmosphere, and will encourage the Palestinian leadership to consider its position on the negotiations carefully," he said.

He claimed an objection to releasing the prisoners would be a political one, as "the Israeli defense system knows there is no security risk in releasing these prisoners."

"Israel released 1,500 prisoners in negotiations with Hamas [in the Gilad Schalit deal]. Can it not give a partner for peace 100 or 120 prisoners? That's a big question mark," al-Sheikh said.

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