Caretaker Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said on Sunday that Israel could release more veteran Palestinian prisoners by the end of September, ma’an reported.
“It is possible that the second batch of pre-Oslo prisoners will be released before the end of this month,” Hamdallah said during a tour of Salfit, a Palestinian town in the Samarian highlands adjacent to the Israeli city of Ariel.
Israel has agreed to release a total of 104 prisoners, most of whom were jailed before the 1993 Oslo peace accords, in stages—depending on progress in the new peace talks.
The first batch of 26 prisoners was released on Aug. 14.
Hamdallah called on the international community to support Palestinian efforts in negotiations to help them achieve an independent state based on the 1967 borders.
The prisoners who were released in August were older, and some were sick. Several of that first group had been scheduled for release in the next few years anyway. The Palestinians expect that the second batch of prisoners being set free will be similar to the first. Only the last two groups, released in correlation with substantial success at the peace negotiations table, are expected to include “heavyweights,” meaninf prisoners who were convicted of atrocities against Jewish civilians.