Israel to free 230 Fatah prisoners on Tuesday
Israel said on Sunday it planned to free 230 Palestinian prisoners on Tuesday as a goodwill gesture towards President Mahmoud Abbas. The prisoners, a fraction of the 11,000 Palestinians held by Israel, will be released in the occupied West Bank, during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said in a statement.
Israel declared last month it planned to free 250 prisoners, but the statement said a ministerial committee that met on Sunday approved a roster of 230 names. None of the prisoners slated for release on Tuesday had "blood on their hands", the statement said, according to Reuters. Olmert's office called the move "a goodwill gesture towards the Palestinian Authority" led by Abbas "on the occasion of the Eid al-Adha holiday". It said the prisoners would come from the ranks of Abbas's Fatah faction and other non-Islamist groups.