Israel rejects appeal against prisoner release

9:27 am | August 13, 2013

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by Israeli victims’ families to block the release of Palestinian prisoners that was part of a U.S.-brokered deal that led to a resumption of Mideast talks.

Israel had agreed to free 104 Palestinian prisoners ahead of the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, scheduled to start Wednesday.

On Monday, Israel published the names of the first 26 prisoners to be released and Israelis were given 48 hours to appeal. A group of bereaved Israeli families appealed.

But Supreme Court judges on Tuesday rejected the appeal, ruling that legal precedents allow for such prisoner releases though they said they sympathized with the families’ grief.

Prison services spokesman Itsik Gorlov said the prisoners would likely be released by midnight Tuesday.

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