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Israel plans new Fatah amnesty

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Israel may free more imprisoned Fatah members as a goodwill gesture toward the Palestinian Authority.

Jerusalem officials said Tuesday that there is a plan to release 100 members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ faction who are serving prison sentences for low-level security offenses.

If approved by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, the releases will take place during the Muslim fast month of Ramadan, which begins next week.

Israel freed 250 jailed Palestinians, most of them from Fatah, in July after Olmert revived rapprochement with Abbas.

Israel wants to bolster Fatah in the face of Hamas after the Islamist group overran the Gaza Strip in June, prompting Abbas to dismiss it from the Palestinian Authority government.

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