JERUSALEM, Israel - In yet another bid to bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' waning popularity, Israel granted amnesty to 92 members of the al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades, the "armed wing" of the president's Fatah party, YNet news reported.
The release stems from a 2007 agreement between Israel and the PA granting amnesty to gunmen who agree to renounce terror. Numbers of al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades members, some involved in terror attacks on Israeli citizens, have joined the Palestinian police force.
As in the past, the men signed a document agreeing to foreswear acts of terror in exchange for being removed from Israel's most wanted list.
The men will now be able to move unhindered throughout Area A, which is under full PA control. Some of them have been granted permission to move freely throughout all of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).
According to local media reports, Abbas believes Israel will release more Fatah prisoners to help boost his popularity on the Palestinian street, especially if hundreds of Hamas-affiliated Palestinians become part of a prisoner exchange for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Source: YNet news