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Israel backs law to block Palestinian prisoner releases

Prisoners gesture from their cell at HaSharon high security prison, northeast of Tel Aviv, on February 23, 2014The amendment, which needs to be approved by parliament before passing into law, would give the courts power to prevent Israel’s president from granting clemency or shortening the jail term of anyone imprisoned for murder. Ayelet Shaked of the far-right Jewish Home party who initiated the change said it was aimed at preventing the release of Palestinian militants who killed Israelis as well as other murderers. The latest round of US-led peace talks collapsed in April after Israel refused to release a fourth and last round of 26 long-term prisoners imprisoned for killing Israelis, breaching a commitment made in 2013. Throughout the talks, Israel released 78 of the promised 104 prisoners, in a move which angered hardliners.

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