The Ofer Israeli military court decided on Tuesday to release three
ministers and fifteen members of the Palestinian Legislative Council
whop were taken prisoners by Israeli after resistance fighters abducted
an Israeli soldier on June 25.

The ministers and legislators will be released on Thursday after the Israeli prosecution appealed against their release.
 
The ministers who will be released are; Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Khaled Abu Arafa, Minister of Waqf (religious endowment), Nayef Rajoub, and Minister of Local Affairs, Issa Al Ja'bary. Also, Israel decided to release fifteen legislators, among them Dr. Aziz Dweik, head of the Legislative Council, his deputy Mahmoud Al Ramahi, and two legislators from Jerusalem identified as Mahmoud Abu Teir and Ahmad Attoun.

Israel decided to delay the release of the legislators and minsters until Thursday after the Israeli prosecution filed an appeal against the decision to release them.

On Monday night, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas met with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya and leaders of different Palestinian factions and decided to form a national unity government.

Abbas called on the International Community to lift the siege which was imposed on the Palestinians after Hamas won the legislative elections.

The meeting between Haniyya, Abbas and several officials of different political factions was held at the presidential headquarters in Gaza City on the formation of a National Unity Government.

Abbas, in an interview with Ramattan news agency, said; “we call on the world to lift this unjust blockade on the Palestinians so that they can feed themselves”. 
 
He added that so far there are no international guarantees the the international blockade will be lifted once the National Unity Government is formed, Ramattan added.
 
“We have no guarantees, but the siege, we believe, should be lifted now”, Abbas stated, “It should be lifted immediately, not even after the national unity government is formed”.

Abbas stated on Monday at night that efforts form a National Unity Government was succeeded after the political platform of the government was determined.

In an interview with the Palestinian News Agency, WAFA, Abbas said that the political program of the government is based on the national unity document and that the coming few days will witness the formation of the National Unity Government.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Hamas-led government denied on Monday night that Abbas will dissolve the current government, adding that no specific time has been determined for the formal announcement of the new government.
The agreement was welcomed by several leaders of Palestinian factions; first Deputy of the Palestinian Legislative Council Dr. Ahmad Bahar described the agreement as a positive step towards the formation of the government and enhancing the Palestinian economy.

Also, Dr. Mustafa Al-Barghouthi, secretary of The Palestinian National Initiative (Al Mubadara), said that this is a big achievement for the Palestinians adding that this step would facilitate the forming of a National Unity Government and will lead to lifting the siege the international community imposed on the Palestinians.

Jamil Al Majdalawi, a legislator for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, praised the agreement and said that it carried great importance for securing a real contribution from all Palestinian factions.
 
Islamic Jihad Movement said it will not be part of the government. Islamic Jihad official Khader Habib said that the movement supports national unity but will not join the government.

Habib added that the movement will abide by a ceasefire agreement with Israel if the National Unity government agrees on securing a ceasefire deal.

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