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Israel approves release of 250 Palestinian prisoners

TEL AVIV, November 30 (RIA Novosti) - Israel approved on Sunday the early release of some 250 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, local media reported.

Israel holds about 11,000 Palestinians in its prisons, including women and children, and the release of some of them is expected to bolster the Israeli-Palestinian dialog and strengthen moderates in the Palestinian leadership.

The prisoners will be released in the occupied West Bank before the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Adha due to take place on December 8.

The names of prisoners to be freed will be drawn up by a special commission to prevent the release of prisoners "with blood on their hands," the media reported.

In a similar goodwill gesture, Israel released 198 Palestinian prisoners in August.

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