Israel begins freeing 227 Palestinians

Dec. 15, 2008 at 9:23 AM
1 of 11
| License Photo

JERUSALEM, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- More than 200 freed Palestinian prisoners began exiting Israeli prisons Monday as a goodwill gesture on the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, officials said.

The release went forward one day after the Israeli government issued a statement confirming the Palestinians would be freed, with 209 of the prisoners to be transferred from Ofer Prison near Jerusalem to a checkpoint in the West Bank, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Eighteen other prisoners were to be transferred from Shikma Prison in the Negev desert to the Erez checkpoint on the Israel-Gaza border.

"We hope these releases will be seen as an important confidence-building measure designed to strengthen the trust and the confidence in the (peace) negotiations," Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, told Haaretz.

Like Us on Facebook for more stories from UPI.com  
Topics: Eid Al-Adha
Latest Headlines
Top Stories
Texas man killed in apparent alligator attack
Kentucky clerk sued for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses
Police arrest N.C. soldier with assault rifle headed to mall photo shoot
North Korean biochemical weapons researcher defects to Europe
Four accused in slave-labor trafficking ring on Ohio egg farm