Most Israels oppose prisoner release


Most Israelis would oppose another amnesty for Palestinian prisoners at this time, a poll found.

Ahead of his peace talks in Annapolis, Md., with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert may order the release of 300 to 400 prisoners as a goodwill gesture, Jerusalem sources said.

Israel has granted two such amnesties in recent months, but a survey in Wednesday’s daily Ma’ ariv found low popular support for the measure.

Seventy percent of respondents said they would oppose a new prisoner release, 22 percent said they would support it and 8 percent had no opinion.

The survey had 500 Jewish respondents and a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

Most of the prisoners freed by Israel as part of the contacts with Abbas have been from his Fatah faction. None was from the rival Hamas.

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