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PA delegation to raise issue of prisoners in Cairo visit

Jan. 4, 2013 2:55 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2013 4:02 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian Authority delegation is due to visit Cairo in the coming days to discuss the issue of Palestinian prisoners, the PA detainee affairs minister said Friday.

Issa Qaraqe told Ma'an that the delegation will meet with Egyptian officials to discuss prisoners undertaking hunger strikes, as well as Israel's re-arrest of detainees released in a 2011 swap deal.

The delegation will urge Egypt to intervene to end the hunger-strikes of Palestinian prisoners. Palestine has also requested a meeting with Arab League delegates to discuss the issue of Palestinian hunger-strikers, Qaraqe said.

The Palestinian officials will also deliver a letter from President Abbas to Egyptian president Muhammad Mursi.

An Egyptian-brokered prisoner swap deal in late 2011 saw Israel agree to release a total of 1,027 Palestinians in exchange for captive soldier Gilad Shalit.

As of Dec. 1, 2012, there were 4,656 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers, including 178 administrative detainees, Addameer prisoners group says.
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