IDF chief opposes prisoner release ahead of Annapolis

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Monday he was opposed to a planned prisoner release ahead of a US-sponsored Middle East conference in Annapolis, Maryland, which is scheduled to take place at the end of this month. The cabinet approved on Monday a list of 441 Palestinian prisoners to be released as a goodwill gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, despite the objection of coalition members Shas and Israel Beiteinu. Speaking to a number of ministers ahead of the meeting, Ashkenazi expressed his objection to the prisoner release. He reportedly did not repeat his views during the meeting itself.