Prisoner release in August
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Dichter. 'Pledge to cease terror invalid'
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Ministers okay list of 230 prisoners
Dichter objects to release of 19 Fatah prisoners to Gaza, Yishai reiterates 'destructive policy', but ministerial committee rejects names of only 20 inmates slated to be freed in honor of Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha
The Ministerial Committee on the Release of Prisoners approved on Sunday a list of 230 Palestinians slated to be freed as part of an Israeli gesture in honor of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim Festival of Sacrifice. The names of 20 inmates included in the initial list were rejected.


Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter objected Sunday to the release of 19 of the 230 Fatah prisoners slated to return to the Gaza Strip.


"Releasing them back to Gaza is not releasing moderates, but letting them back into an area ruled by a terror government, making their pledge to cease all terror activities invalid," he said.


Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Eli Yishai objected to the release of all prisoners. "This decision continues a destructive police of one-sidedness, which is detached from the cruel reality," he said.


The ministerial committee is headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and its members include Minister Dichter and Yishai, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Vice Premier Haim Ramon, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann and Minister for Pensioner Affairs Rafi Eitan.


A source in the Prime Minister's Office noted after the release was approved, about a week ago, that this was a routine gesture carried out every year on the Festival of Sacrifice.


"The current gesture has nothing to do with the (kidnapped soldier Gilad) Shalit deal)," the source said. "We are talking about the release of prisoners belonging to the Palestinian pragmatic camp."


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