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The idea of including Palestinian prisoners with "blood on their hands" who carried out terrorist acts before the Oslo Accords were signed is being discussed in Jerusalem, to "raise the level" of the 250 security prisoners that Israel will release as a good will gesture toward Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
A ministerial committee headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is scheduled to meet on Sunday, after the weekly cabinet meeting, to discuss which prisoners Israel will release.
Olmert said last month at the summit in Sharm e-Sheikh with Abbas, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Jordanian King Abdullah II that Israel would release 250 Fatah prisoners "without blood on their hands." The cabinet approved this in principle this past Sunday.
Drawing up the list, however, has proven more difficult than expected, because Olmert, according to government officials, does not just want to release Palestinian "rapists or thieves" from Israeli prisons, or security prisoners who are slated to be released within the next few months in any case. He is concerned that the release of these types of prisoners would not strengthen Abbas.
The government is willing to release security prisoners who took part in attacks that did not lead to any deaths, such as terrorists who shot at an IDF patrol, but missed. A condition to their release is that they have already served two-thirds of their sentence.