PA demands prisoner release in Israel

Oct. 5, 2007 at 11:13 AM

JERUSALEM, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Palestinian Authority demands for a prisoner release include freeing a Fatah leader serving life in prison for killing four Israelis and a Greek monk.

"We want the release of all the prisoners within a few months," Ashraf al-Ajrami, the PA minister for prisoner affairs, told Army Radio in a Jerusalem interview Friday.

In a meeting with Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, Ajrami said the release must include Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences and who senior Israeli politicians have said they would consider releasing, Haaretz reported Friday.

"Dichter didn't say at the meeting that he would free Barghouti because he has a firm opinion on this matter, but we always talk about the need to free prisoners. Everything is now dependent on negotiations between the two sides," Ajrami said.

Dichter declined publicly to discuss the meeting, Haaretz reported, noting Ajrami is expected to visit Barghouti in jail next week.

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