Israel cabinet OKs release of 250 Fatah prisoners
Israel approved on Sunday the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners in an attempt to bolster President Mahmoud Abbas. The prisoners, a fraction of the 11,000 Palestinians held, will be released in the occupied West Bank, before next month's holiday of Eid al-Adha, officials said of the decision, which was approved 13 to 5 by Israel's cabinet.
Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had promised to free the prisoners earlier this month during a meeting with Abbas.
"This is a confidence-building measure," said Olmert spokesman Mark Regev. According to Reuters, he said Israel will free prisoners from the ranks of Fatah faction and other non-Islamist groups.
Some 200 prisoners were freed by Israel in August.