Israelis abort prisoner release

A last-minute petition to Israel's High Court halted the release of Palestinian women prisoners yesterday after authorities freed several inmates under peace deals with the PLO.

A justice official said the release of the nine prisoners in question would be held up pending the court's discussion of the request by the Families of Victims of Arab Terror group to halt the release of the nine, saying they were arrested after the Israel-PLO agreements and were not eligible for freedom.

Witnesses said that eight Palestinian women were freed. According to the police, several returned to prison on their own volition and the rest were refusing to leave until authorities allowed all 31 women inmates to leave.

AP - Tel Mond