Photo: AP
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at cabinet meeting
Photo: AP

Israel to free 9 Jordanian prisoners

Israel to release nine Jordanian prisoners serving in its jails as part of goodwill gesture to neighboring ally; None were involved in anti-Israeli attacks

Israel is expected to free nine Jordanian prisoners in the coming weeks, the cabinet decided on Sunday in a goodwill gesture and move long-demanded by its neighboring ally that it signed a peace deal with 11 years ago.


None of the prisoners had been jailed for harming Israelis, officials said. The Jordanians requested the release of 18 of their citizens serving time in Israeli prisoners, but many had been jailed for involvement in attacks against Israelis.


Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom updated his Jordanian counterpart Farouk Kasrawi about the releases.


Kasrawi his government welcomed the Israeli move.


"It is a positive and good step in the right direction to release all the prisoners," He said in a statement issued by the official Petra News Agency.


The cabinet also appointed a committee to discuss what to do with some 70,000 Jordanian illegal workers in Israel.


Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994, marking the nation the second Arab state after Egypt to serve as an ally of the Jewish state. Both countries has also been instrumental in its involvement in pushing forward a U.S.-backed "road map", aimed at bridging peace between Israel and the Palestinians.


פרסום ראשון: 04.17.05, 13:52
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