Marchers protest release of Palestinian prisoners

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Families of terror victims and their supporters held a march in protest of the release of Palestinian prisoners.

The protesters marched Sunday from Mount Herzl, where a monument dedicated to victims of terror attacks stands, to the Supreme Court building in Jerusalem, where a hearing was scheduled to be held on an attempt to block the release.

On the same day, a committee of Israeli government ministers is meeting to decide which Palestinian prisoners will be freed in the first round of peace negotiations.

The first 26 prisoners are set to be freed Tuesday, a day before peace talks with the Palestinians are to resume in Jerusalem.

Eventually 104 prisoners jailed before the 1993 Oslo Accords will be released in phases over the next eight months, pending progress in the talks.

Sunday’s committee meeting will take place without Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who underwent hernia surgery late Saturday night.

The rest of the committee is made up of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Science Minister Yaakov Peri and Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch. The committee will use recommendations by the Shin Bet security service.

The Cabinet approved the phased releases last month in an effort to jump-start renewed peace negotiations.

 

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