Freed Palestinian prisoners on bus 260.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)
The Prisons Service published a list of 550 Palestinian
security prisoners on Wednesday set for release as part of the second
half of the Gilad Shalit exchange with Hamas.
A total of 1,027 prisoners will be free by the end of the deal.
Polls show overwhelming support for Schalit deal
The Schalit deal: 1,027 prisoners to be freed in 2 stages
Israel is scheduled to release the prisoners on December
18, 2011. According to the Prisons Service, the release will likely occur
in the evening hours Sunday "when prisoners at the Ofer and Ayalon prisons
will leave for the Beituniya crossing and Gaza, respectively."
The Justice Ministry
will open an information center beginning Wednesday where
prisoner-specific information can be obtained. Civilians have 48 hours
to petition to the High Court of Justice in opposition to the release
of any specific prisoner.
The majority of the prisoners on the list were set to be released within the next year.
During the first phase in October, Hamas released Gilad Shalit from a
six-year captivity, and Israel released 477 Palestinian prisoners,
including participants of some of the bloodiest terrorist attacks in the
Wednesday, Hamas denied that it had received a list with the names of
Palestinians who are scheduled to be released as part of the second
phase of the prisoner swap agreement with Israel.
The denial came in response to the publication of a list including the
names of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. The list was published by a
number of Palestinian media outlets.
Saleh Arouri, a Hamas official who is in charge of following up on the
issue of the Palestinian prisoners, said that the published list was not
official or final.
He said that neither Hamas not Egypt, which helped broker the prisoner
agreement, have received word from Israel about the intention to release
the inmates whose names appeared in the list.
Arouri claimed that the list was published as part of an Israeli effort to "play on the nerves of the prisoners' families."