Israel PM rejects list of Palestinian prisoners demanded for release of soldier

[JURIST] Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert [official website; BBC profile] Wednesday rejected a demand by Palestinian militants to free hundreds of Palestinian prisoners [JURIST report] in exchange for the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit [Times backgrounder; JURIST news archive]. In a speech before Israel's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee [official website], Olmert said that the list of Palestinian prisoners, which according to news reports includes between 350 and 1,400 names, created expectations that Israel cannot meet. Last week, Olmert expressed disappointment [press release; JURIST report] that the list purportedly included high-profile names like Marwan Barghouti [[BBC profile; JURIST news archive] and Ahmed Saadat [BBC profile]. Saadat is the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [organization website], a radical group suspected of carrying out the 2001 assassination of an Israeli cabinet minister. Barghouti is the leader of the Fatah party [party website] in the West Bank and was charged with the murder of 26 people after his arrest in 2002.

Shalit was captured in Gaza [JURIST report] on June 25, and his detention helped spark the latest round of violence [JURIST news archive] in the region over the summer. Palestinian militants have demanded the large-scale release of Palestinian prisoners from the beginning, but negotiations have not been successful to date. In November 2006, Olmert said that Israel was willing to release many Palestinian prisoners [JURIST report] in exchange for Shalit's freedom, including long-term Palestinian detainees. Israel [JURIST news archive] says Shalit's release is a precondition to any serious peace conditions. AP has more.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.