Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Kenya : Police arrest 8 over Mombasa rampage

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

FASHION

Who's next in Paris, an event with international ready-to-wear and fashion accessories collections

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Muslims and Christians clean up Bangui, and violence spirals out of control in Algeria's Gardaia

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is there such thing as 'telegenic' victims of war?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

2014-07-22 07:21 IN THE FRENCH PRESS

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS Executive Director

Read more

  • US, European airlines suspend flights to Tel Aviv over Israel-Gaza conflict

    Read more

  • France gives go-ahead to pro-Palestinian Paris rally

    Read more

  • Video: Lebanon fears fallout from regional turmoil

    Read more

  • Australian veteran Rogers claims 16th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French Jews mourn French-Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

    Read more

  • Colombia's Rodriguez signs '€80m' contract with Real Madrid

    Read more

  • A call for harmony in riot-hit ‘Little Jerusalem’ Paris suburb

    Read more

  • Five children among seven killed in minibus crash in eastern France

    Read more

  • Hollande says French warship delivery will ‘depend on Russia’s attitude’

    Read more

  • Widodo wins Indonesian presidential election

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

Israel issues list of 199 prisoners to be freed

Latest update : 2008-08-20

In a move to bolster relations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Israel published on Monday a list of 199 prisoners who are to be freed next week. The list includes two prisoners implicated in attacks in Israel three decades ago.


JERUSALEM - The longest-serving Palestinian prisoner in Israel was included in an official list on Monday of 199 people due to be released next week in a declared bid to bolster President Mahmoud Abbas.
 

Said al-Atabeh, 57, of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), was arrested in 1977 and sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of involvement in bombings that killed an Israeli woman and wounded dozens of people.
 

He and 198 other Palestinians are due to go free on August 25. Their release will coincide with a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who Israeli and Palestinian officials said would try to spur progress towards a peace deal.
 

A release list published by the Israel Prisons Service also included Mohammad Abu Ali, 52, who was jailed for life in 1980 for killing a leader of Jewish settlers near Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.
 

Abu Ali received a second life term for the jailhouse killing of a Palestinian suspected of collaborating with Israeli authorities. Though in prison, he was elected to the Palestinian parliament in 2006.
 

Some 11,000 Palestinians are in Israeli prisons and securing their release is a highly emotive issue in Palestinian society as Abbas pursues an elusive peace deal with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
 

Several Israeli cabinet ministers had opposed freeing Palestinians "with blood on their hands", an Israeli term for attacks that caused Israeli casualties, but a ministerial committee approved the list earlier on Monday.
 

"I was afraid that I would die before I saw him," said Atabeh's 75-year-old mother Widad. She said Israeli authorities last allowed her to visit him in prison more than two years ago.
 

The son of the dead Israeli woman, Tzila Galili, killed in a vegetable market explosion carried out by Atabeh's DFLP cell, told Israel's YNet news website: "The terrorist who killed my mother should have been killed, not jailed."
 


 

BOOSTING ABBAS
 

Israeli government officials said they hoped the release would boost popular support for Abbas, whose Fatah faction lost
control of the Gaza Strip to Hamas Islamists last year, and show Palestinians that dialogue can achieve results.
 

The United States has said it hopes to conclude a framework peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians before President George W. Bush leaves office in January.
 

But the talks have stumbled over disputes over Israeli settlement building and the future of Jerusalem.
 

Rice last held meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials in Washington on July 30, the same day Olmert, hit by a corruption scandal, said he would step down after his party chooses a new leader in September.
 

About half of the prisoners on the release list were to have completed their sentences next year, but 43 had at least five more years to serve. Four of the prisoners are women.
 

Offences listed next to prisoners' names ranged from stone-throwing to shooting attacks.

Date created : 2008-08-18

COMMENT(S)