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Copyright 2004 Jerusalem Post
January 27

HEADLINE: Prisoners' release process starts Tuesday


Israel's Prison Authority started Tuesday to transfer 61 security inmates who are to be released as part of the swap deal between Israel and Hizbullah.

Of the 61 prisoners, 30 are from Arab countries Lebanon, Morocco, Libya and one German, Stefan Josef Smyrek. These will be transferred during the day to the Sharon prison, outside the city of Netanya, in central Israel, for inspection and identification.

From the Sharon prison, the inmates are to be transferred to Ben-Gurion Airport to board planes leaving Israel. The exact route the prisoners are to take is being kept secret for security reasons. They are expected to leave the country Tuesday.

The other 30 prisoners, all Palestinian security prisoners, are to be transferred to the Ktziot military prison in the south. Following IDF inspection they will be deported to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The inmates will be allowed to go free only after the bodies of IDF soldiers St.-Sgts. Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan, and Omar Sawayid are identified.

More than 14,000 entries were registered on the Prisoners Service Web site, where the list of more than 400 prisoners who are to be released was published.

About 58 percent of the entries were from countries outside Israel. Some 1,700 entrees were from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas.

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