Palestinians Unenthused about Prisoner Release

Ad Feedback - RAMALLAH, West Bank - Palestinian Authority (PA) officials were unenthusiastic about Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's announcement to release 200 Fatah-affiliated Palestinian prisoners.

Olmert pitched the release as a goodwill gesture to bolster PA President Mahmoud Abbas, but some analysts say that simply doesn't happen.

Jerusalem Post Palestinian Affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh said what the PA really needs is pressure "to reform the PA and end financial corruption and the state of lawlessness and chaos in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria]."

According to Toameh, the hundreds of prisoners freed since the signing of the Oslo Accords didn't boost the standing of the late PLO founder Yasser Arafat.

And the same is true today, he says. Palestinians don't credit Abbas or PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad when Israel frees prisoners.

Hamas, for its part, said releasing Fatah-affiliated prisoners is Israel's attempt to deepen the divide between the two Palestinian factions.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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