Protests expected in Israel over Palestinian prisoner release

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is braced for angry demonstrations following the publication of the names of 26 Palestinian prisoners to be released by Israel on Wednesday as part of the build-up to peace negotiations.

Since the publication of the names on Sunday, the Israeli government has been flooded with protest letters written by families of terror victims. Members of the public have two days to appeal.

The Almagor Terror Victims Association said in a statement: “This is a day of celebration for Palestinian terror organisations and a sad day for bereaved families and for Israeli society.”

According to Haaretz, 21 of the 26 were convicted of killing Israelis or suspected Palestinian collaborators. Among the 26 prisoners, three were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, two from Hamas and one from Islamic Jihad.

Over the coming months, 104 Palestinian prisoners will be released as part of a peace-talks deal brokered by the US.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel has approved the construction of 1,187 housing units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“No country in the world takes orders from other countries where it can build and where it can’t,” he said, “We will continue to market the homes, and to build in the entire country… This is the right thing at the present time, for Zionism and for the economy.”

Last updated: 9:55am, August 12 2013