Israel lists names of 26 Palestinians to be freed
By Ian Deitch and Ibrahim Barzak, APJERUSALEM--Israel on Monday published the names of 26 Palestinian prisoners, most of them held for deadly attacks, who are to be released this week as part of a U.S.-brokered deal that led to a resumption of Mideast negotiations.
August 13, 2013, 12:05 am TWN
Israelis and Palestinians are to launch talks in Jerusalem on Wednesday, following a preparatory round two weeks ago in Washington. The prisoner release, expected Tuesday, is part of an agreement to restart the talks after a five-year freeze.
The fate of Palestinian prisoners stirs strong emotions on both sides, highlighting the competing narratives of their conflict. The upcoming release is particularly sensitive because many of those to be freed were involved in killing Israelis.
“It's painful to pay such a heavy price just as a concession for talks,” said Pini Rotenberg, after he learned that one of the killers of his father, Isaac, would be freed. The elder Rotenberg, a Nazi death camp survivor, was 69 and working as a contractor when he was killed with an axe from behind while at a construction site in 1994.
In Gaza's Bureij refugee camp, Fatima Nashabat, 48, said she was counting the hours until the release of her husband, Mohammed, 52, who has spent the last 23 years in prison.
She refused to talk about what got her husband arrested.
Israeli authorities say Nashabat is serving a 25-year term as an accessory to murder. He was convicted of involvement in the killing of an Israeli reserve soldier, Amnon Pomerantz, who was stoned and firebombed by a mob, burning to death in his car, after he mistakenly entered the camp.
In all, 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners are to be released in four stages during the nine months set aside for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.