PMO: Israel-Palestinian prisoners deal is gesture to Abbas (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 05/15/12)
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu´s spokesman Mark Regev said on
Monday that Israel negotiated the deal ending the hunger strike of
some 1,6000 Palestinian prisoners in Irael in response to a request
from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
"It is our hope that this gesture by Israel will serve to build
confidence between the parties and advance peace," he said.
The prisoner strike issue was discussed Saturday night when
Netanyahu´s envoy Yitzhak Molcho delivered a letter from Netanyahu to
Abbas. In addition to resolving the prisoner strike, Abbas also asked
that Israel return 100 bodies of Palestinians buried in Israel to the
PA for reburial there, and asked for a prisoner release.
While Israel did not agree to a prisoner release, it did agree to the
transfer of 100 bodies of terrorists, some of whom were involved in
suicide bombings. That transfer is expected to take place in a number
of days. This is an issue that was discussed in the past, but put on
hold while Gilad Schalit remained in Hamas captivity.
One official said that Israel would be watching how the PA handled
the reinterment of the bodies, and did not want to see them granted
The official said Israel went "the extra mile" and showed flexibility
on two of the three issues that the Palestinians raised, and hoped
that they appreciated the steps and would show "reciprocity."
One way of showing reciprocity, the official hinted, would be to
ensure that the terrorists who will be re-buried in the PA are done
so without the fanfare that accompanies the burial of heroes. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/15/12)
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