Israel will not release Palestinian prisoners for the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha before kidnapped IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit is freed, it was reported on Friday morning.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had initially promised Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas he would consider such a move as a goodwill gesture, but the prime minister has not yet held a meeting on the subject, and the Muslim holiday begins on Saturday.
Vice Premier Shimon Peres told Israel Radio Friday that he believes there is still room to make such a gesture.
However, Absorption Minister Ze'ev Boim said that a premature prisoner release would be unwise, as it would not be interpreted properly by the Palestinians.