The Islamic Jihad prisoners were jailed by the PA for involvement in the Tel Aviv attack which killed five Israelis. The terrorists have denied the charges, according to several relatives.
Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza, Khaled al-Batsh, said that the PA agreed to release all nine terrorists being held for the suicide bombing on condition that they remain in Jericho.
Israel earlier this year gave the PA full control of Jericho as a "good will" gesture to help Abbas strengthen his position to fight terror.
Yet terror has continued under the watch of Abbas, with a recent upsurge of mortar shell attacks in both Gush Katif, and the Negev town of Sderot.
PA leaders have stated openly this week that violence against Jews may increase sooner than it will dissipate. Complaining about a lack of coordination on the proposed Disengagement, Civil Affairs Minister Mohammed Dahlan, stated “Israel's current actions are paving the way for a third intifada."
Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Shaath warned that a terror outbreak may be impossible to prevent. "If Israel carries on with what it is doing, it will be difficult to control matters." Shaath said after a meeting with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit on Thursday.