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Israel cabinet approves release of 250 Palestinian prisoners

[JURIST] The Israeli cabinet Sunday approved the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official profile] agreed to the release [BBC report] at a June 25 summit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [BBC profile] in an effort to show Israel's support for Abbas, a moderate. It is not clear which prisoners will be released or when. Israel is holding about 10,000 Palestinian prisoners. The country released [JURIST report] about 500 in February 2005 to bolster Abbas when he won the election.

After Hamas [BBC backgrounder] violently took over the Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder] last month, Israel has made moves to strengthen Abbas, who favors peace talks. AP has more.

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