Sources: Israel won’t free more prisoners as a goodwill gesture to Abbas

RAMALLAH, A high-ranking Palestinian source revealed on Tuesday that Israel would not free more Palestinian prisoners from its jails as a goodwill gesture to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. The source, who spoke in condition of anonymity, told Xinhua that officials in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) were informed by the Israeli side that the Israeli leadership retracted its decision to free more Palestinian prisoners.

The sources said that the Israeli side has earlier informed the Palestinian side that a second group of prisoners would be released from Israeli jails on the Muslims’ holiday of Eid al-Fetter at the end of September.”

Israel retreated to free more Palestinian prisoners from its jails was due to the internal political situation in Israel and also the stop of the talks between Israel and Hamas movement on a prisoners swap,” said the source.

Two weeks ago, Israel released 198 prisoners from its jails, as a goodwill gesture to president Abbas. The deal to release the prisoners was made during one of the meetings between Abbas and Israeli PM Ehud Olmert.

Hamas and two other militant groups still keep the Israeli corporal Gilad Shalit as a hostage. Egypt has been mediating talks between Hamas and Israel to free Shalit for releasing more 1,500 prisoners.

Hamas decided to stop the talks on releasing Shalit because Israel hasn’t fully implemented a six-month truce deal brokered by Egypt between Israel and Gaza militants groups.

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