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Israel rethinking release of pre-Oslo prisoners

Sept. 23, 2013 7:52 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 13, 2013 4:41 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) – The Israeli government will hold a special session late Monday to re-examine plans to release a second group of veteran Palestinian prisoners in custody before the Oslo Accord of 1994.

Ma'an has learned that senior officials decided to re-examine the decision following calls from the right in Israel to cancel the release of pre-Oslo prisoners after two Israeli soldiers were killed in the occupied West Bank.

The right-wing Israelis, who opposed the decision from the beginning, maintain that “punitive” procedures should be taken against the Palestinians after the killing of two Israeli soldiers in separate incidents.

However, the Israeli army’s chief of staff Benny Gants has said that the killing of Israeli soldiers would not affect the government's commitment to release veteran prisoners, a source told Ma'an.

Seven Israeli ministers have voiced support for the right-wing Jewish Home party chief Naftali Bennet in his demand to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reconsider the decision to release.

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