The Israeli Prisons Authorities released on Monday morning 429 Palestinian prisoners from different Israeli jails, most of them are members in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah movement, witnesses said.
The witnesses said that several busses full of freed Palestinian prisoners arrived on Monday morning at Bitounia Crossing between Ramallah and Jerusalem in the West Bank heading to al-Muqata'a in Ramallah to be received by Abbas.
The prisoners, who were received by hundreds of their relatives and friends, waved Palestinian flags and carried pictures of President Abbas and late leader Yasser Arafat.
Most of the freed prisoners are members of Fatah movement, no one from its rival Hamas movement was freed. The release of the prisoners was an Israeli goodwill gesture towards the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
Israel had decided to release 429 prisoners before joining Annapolis peace conference which was held last week in Annapolis-Maryland in the United States. The parties announced in the conference to launch soon talks on final status issues.
Most of the prisoners are residents of the West Bank, where only 16 are from the Gaza Strip and they are on their way to Erez Crossing on the borders between Gaza Strip and Israel.