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Hamas And Islamic Jihad Terrorists To Be Released

Among the terrorists to be released in the near future, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning to release administrative detainees of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In this morning's government meeting that preceded the Sharon-Abbas talk, Prime Minister Sharon related to this point.
First Publish: 7/20/2003, 7:58 PM

Among the terrorists to be released in the near future, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is planning to release administrative detainees of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In this morning's government meeting that preceded the Sharon-Abbas talk, Prime Minister Sharon related to this point. In response to a question by Minister Without Portfolio Natan Sharansky (Likud-Yisrael B'Aliyah), Sharon said that there would be no deviation from the standards set by the Cabinet two weeks ago. How, then, does this jibe with the common perception that Hamas and Islamic Jihad prisoners would not be freed? The Prime Minister's Office explains that the ministers did not understand correctly the government's decision of two weeks ago. Arutz-7's research bears out this position:

After the Cabinet meeting two weeks ago, "government sources" were quoted as saying that Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists would not be released. No such position appears in the official Cabinet Communique issued that day, however. In addition, Raanan Gissin, the Prime Minister's Foreign Press Advisor, told IMRA on July 11, five days after the Cabinet meeting, that there is "an issue about what happens with Hamas and Islamic Jihad member who are not involved in terrorist activity and instead were involved in civilian activities" - clearly implying that no stand had been taken on this issue.

Abu Mazen is scheduled to visit Cairo later this week, and both he and Sharon will meet, separately, with U.S. President George Bush in Washington towards the end of the month.