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Israel cabinet approves release of 90 Palestinian detainees

[JURIST] The Israeli cabinet decided Sunday to release 90 Palestinians [press release] currently imprisoned by Israel this week in an attempt to sway Palestinian opinion, including that of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas [BBC profile], on Israel [JURIST news archive]. Aides to Abbas, however, said that the release of a mere 90 of the 11,000 Palestinians detained by Israel is not enough in light of the years of failed peace talks between the two groups. The cabinet considered 100 names for release, 10 of which were rejected for security reasons.

Israel released 255 Palestinian prisoners [JURIST report] in July after the government determined that the detainees were not directly involved [press release] in the killing or wounding of Israelis. Similar to the current proposed release, the prisoners were released this summer as a gesture of goodwill in an effort to strengthen the moderate Fatah against the more-hardline Hamas [BBC backgrounder], which violently took over the Gaza Strip [BBC backgrounder] in June. Palestinian infighting between the Islamist-Hamas and the secular-Fatah has established two parallel Palestinian governments in the West Bank and Gaza. AP has more.

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