Israeli group looks to stall Shalit deal

2011-10-14 22:39

Jerusalem - An Israeli group representing victims of Palestinian attacks petitioned a court on Friday to delay an impending deal to release 1 027 Palestinian prisoners in return for captive soldier Gilad Shalit.

In a petition to Israel's High Court, the Almagor terror victims association said that under the current timetable, the victims' families would not have sufficient time to examine the names of prisoners set for release and prepare an appeal.

The names of nine Israelis were listed on the petition.

The Israel Prisons Authority is expected to publish on its website the official list of Palestinian detainees to be freed on Saturday evening or Sunday, in a move which will give the public 48 hours to lodge any legal appeals.

On Tuesday, 450 Palestinian prisoners - and 27 women - are to be freed, and Shalit will be returned home after being held for more than five years in Hamas captivity in Gaza, a senior official said.

Another 550 prisoners are to be released within two months.

The court has in the past not overturned government decisions to free prisoners involved in militant attacks against Israelis.

But Almagor is hoping to succeed, due to the different nature of the current agreement, and is hoping to secure at least four to five days for a serious examination of the list, the petition states.

"The decision [to approve the deal] was not the result of deliberation, rather of a successful campaign created with advertising agencies, and the pressure of one family on the government," Almagor head Meir Indor told AFP.

"This is something that the court - which is in charge of law and order - should intervene against, since it is the destruction of the law and order in Israel."

Indor also noted that unlike past deals in which Israel used the release of prisoners as a diplomatic incentive, this time there could be no such claim.

The Egyptian-brokered deal was signed on Tuesday and overwhelmingly approved by the Israeli government in a vote early on Wednesday.

Read more on:    gilad shalit  |  palestine  |  israel  |  middle east peace
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