Israeli authorities released 11 Palestinian inmates Wednesday, a day after releasing 11 Palestinians on charges stemming from the stabbing of Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron.
The prisoners included 10 from the al-Qassam Brigades and three from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a group that opposes Israel’s occupation.
The release comes as Israel prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the start of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the first anniversary of which is planned for June.
The two groups were the first groups to openly declare an intention to launch an armed uprising.
The two sides have battled for the past three decades.
The announcement comes a day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were due to hold a rare summit in the United States.
Netanyahu has said he would not meet with Abbas, but his office said Wednesday that the two leaders would hold talks in Washington to address the Israeli occupation.
Abbas’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Earlier Wednesday, Israel’s military said in a statement that one of the detainees, a 19-year-old Palestinian prisoner who is serving a life sentence for stabbing Israelis, was released to the Palestinian Authority.
The military said he was released in a prisoner exchange, but it was not clear what that meant.
The statement said the man, Mohammed al-Hajj, was taken from his home in the village of Quneitra in the West Bank to the al-‘Arroub prison.
The Palestinian Information Ministry in Ramallah said al-Hamawi had been transferred from Quneifra to the nearby Ramallah prison.
Al-Hijj was arrested in January 2015 when he was in his 20s.
He had spent more than two years in Israeli prisons before he was arrested.
He was released from Israeli custody in January 2017 and was transferred to Israeli prisons in Ramle in the Galilee province.
The Palestinian prisoner’s release comes after the government in Israel suspended the prisoner exchange with Hamas, which is headed by the Islamic Jihad, over security concerns.
The government also imposed a temporary ban on issuing permits to the families of Palestinians in Israeli jails.
It said the move would allow the Palestinian prisoners to be freed in accordance with the rules of the International Criminal Court.