Prisoner Release List Swells to Nearly 600

(Ha'aretz) Amos Harel and Moshe Reinfeld - Several dozen of the almost 250 names added over the last several days are members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Most of the new names are genuine security prisoners who have been convicted of terror-related offenses. The list of prisoners to be released will be posted on the Internet 48 hours in advance to give anyone who feels himself injured by a particular release the time to appeal. The IDF is also preparing a series of humanitarian gestures toward the Palestinians in advance of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's visit to Washington next week, including the removal of checkpoints and the reopening of roads to Palestinian traffic. The army is also considering increasing the number of Palestinians permitted to work in Israel. But the defense establishment is opposed to more far-reaching measures as long as the PA continues to refuse to disarm the terrorist organizations. An investigation by the IDF's Central Command revealed that over the last few weeks, the ranks of the terrorist organizations' local cells have swelled, whereas prior to the cease-fire they had thinned considerably, thanks to the mass arrests carried out by the IDF and the Shin Bet. In addition to actively recruiting new members, the cells are also trying to build more powerful bombs.

2003-07-25 00:00:00

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