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Netanyahu rejects Palestinian, American request for early prisoner release
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Gaza, ALRAY - (Israel) rejected a request by the Palestinian and American governments that the planned release of a second group of Palestinian prisoners be moved up by two and a half weeks, according to Haaretz newspaper.

Israel agreed in July to a four-stage release of 104 Palestinian prisoners in the Israel jails detained before the signingof the Oslo Accords in 1993.

The first group of prisoners was released in August, just after talks between the two sides restarted.

The second group of some 25 prisoners was slated to be released on October 29, but the Palestinian Authority asked Israel to release the prisoners in time for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha next week.

Netanyahu has faced pressure from hawkish ministers to delay or cancel the prisoner release in the wake of a series of incidents in the West Bank in recent weeks, including the killing of two Israeli soldiers and the attack that wounded a nine-year-old girl in the settlement of Psagot last Saturday.

Netanyahu has rejected the request and planned to release the prisoners on schedule.