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Israel to postpone release of 230 Palestinian prisoners

By Xinhua,

Jerusalem : Israel will postpone the release of 230 Palestinian prisoners to Dec. 15, local news service Ynet reported Monday on its website.

Citing sources in Jerusalem, the report said the rescheduling of the release was made at the request of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s spokesman Mark Regev, however, told Xinhua by phone Monday that he can not talk about this issue at the moment.

Israel’s ministerial committee overseeing the release of Palestinian prisoners decided on Sunday to release 230 prisoners on Tuesday as a goodwill gesture to Abbas to mark the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which falls on Monday.

The ministerial committee made the decision following a cabinet approval of the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners last Sunday, according to a statement issued by Israeli Prime Minister’s office.

Some 20 names were removed from the original list following objections by several ministers, who were opposed to releasing prisoners into the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The 230 prisoners to be released are all Fatah-affiliated and are “without blood on their hands,” according to the ministerial committee.