Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas asked Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz to release 25 Fatah prisoners, Ynet News revealed yesterday.
Ynet reported sources saying that the request was not reported in the wake of the meeting and was presented by Abbas as a gesture of goodwill.
The sources told the Israeli news website that Abbas asked that occupation authorities release 25 members of Fatah that have been held in Israeli jails for decades, including some that have been detained since before the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Gantz told Abbas that he would look into the matter, but the sources believe the current Israeli government would not agree to the release, Ynet said.
During his meeting with Gantz, Abbas stressed the importance of strengthening the Fatah movement to offset the growing popularity of Hamas in the West Bank.
Abbas said such a move on the part of Israel would prove to voters that diplomacy could achieve better results than armed resistance.
The Israeli Defence Ministry said it would not comment on matters of private security.