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Israeli Cabinet considers new Palestine deal

Israeli Cabinet considers new Palestine deal

Israeli Cabinet ministers considered yesterday easing the terms for releasing some of the 9,000 Palestinian prisoners Israel holds, in an effort to win freedom for an Israeli soldier captured by Gaza militants.
Ministers began debating the plan last week, but delayed a decision pending further discussion.
Israeli defense officials have said that Israel's refusal to free Palestinians involved in attacks on Israelis has blocked an Egyptian-mediated deal to swap 450 prisoners for Corporal Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas-linked militants in a cross-border raid in June 2006.
The main proposal on the table is to release Palestinians involved in failed attacks on Israelis.
Because so many Palestinian families have members in Israeli prisons, their release is a central Palestinian demand.
Although Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has the authority to change the rules himself, a unilateral decision would likely be highly unpopular with the Israeli public, and he therefore is seeking broader support for the move, Israeli media have reported.
Hamas has ruled Gaza since violently seizing control there in June 2007. Israel and the Islamic militant group have no direct contacts because of Hamas' history of suicide bombings its refusal to recognize the Jewish state.


Updated : 2021-03-08 16:28 GMT+08:00