The ministerial committee headed by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon met Sunday evening and approved the release of 26 terrorists as part of a gesture to the Palestinian Authority, in order to get it to resume peace talks with Israel.
In addition to Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Perry and Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch, the meeting was also attended by the head of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), the Commissioner of the Israel Prisons Service (IPS), representatives of the Ministry of Justice, the IDF and other officials. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not attend as he was recovering at home from his emergency hernia surgery.
The names of the terrorists to be released will be published on the IPS website, www.ips.gov.il, on Sunday night.
14 of the terrorists to be released will be exiled to Gaza, and the remaining 12 will be transferred to PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria. Eight of the terrorists on the list were to be released over the next three years, two of them in the coming six months.
Netanyahu's office said that the terrorists will be released about 48 hours after the publication of the list. It was emphasized that if one of the terrorists resumes hostile activity against the State of Israel after his release, he will be returned to prison to continue serving his sentence.
Earlier on Sunday, families of victims of terrorism marched through Jerusalem in a protest against the government’s plan to approve the release of 26 terrorists.
They marched from the central memorial for terrorism victims, located in Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, to the Supreme Court building, where the court is to hear a petition against terrorist release filed by the Almagor organization.