Israel frees 429 Palestinian prisoners
Israel on Monday freed hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in a gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after the two sides' recent agreement to try to reach a peace deal.
The release included 429 prisoners. According to the AP, the Israeli prison service said 408 Palestinians were sent to the West Bank and 21 to Gaza Strip. The first buses with the prisoners left the Ketziot prison in Israel's southern Negev desert shortly after 0400 GMT, according to AFP. Most of the buses arrived in Betonia military checkpoint near Ramallah city while the rest arrived in Beit Hanoun crossing, northern Gaza Strip.
As in previous releases, none of those released on Monday were implicated in attacks that killed Israelis. Monday's release was originally slated to take place days ahead of a Middle East peace conference that took place in Annapolis on November 27, but was delayed due to unspecified reasons.