Peretz backs partial 'goodwill' prisoner release

Defense Minister Amir Peretz on Monday said he supports the release of some Palestinian prisoners, even without a deal on the return of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. "Every year, there has been a humanitarian release of prisoners" around the Christmas and Eid al-Adha holidays, Peretz said. He said the government should carry out a similar goodwill gesture this year. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday urged the cabinet to consider a prisoner release, backing away from his earlier insistence that Shalit be released first.