Israel will free 87 Palestinian prisoners today despite unspecific "technical reasons" that held up their release after they donned civilian clothes and were about to board a bus for home. Most of the prisoners are Fatah supporters, and their freedom is a bid by Israel to shore up the moderate Fatah faction against rival Hamas.
The Fatah party’s crumbling position in Palestine has drawn the attention of the Israeli parliament, which fears further advances by the radical Hamas. None of the prisoners is a member of Hamas. Israel is holding some 11,000 Palestinian prisoners.