US concerned over release of Palestinian prisoners

Mark Toner said that "the US Government deems some of the prisoners as posing a threat to Israel and US interests".

Updated: Oct 19, 2011, 22:01 PM IST

Washington: The US today expressed concern
over the release of 477 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for
Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, saying some of them pose a
threat either to Israel or American interests.

State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said that the US
has "looked at" some of the people released and has
communicated its position to Israel after specific individuals
were identified as part of this release.

Replying to a question during the daily press briefing on
whether the people released potentially posed a threat or if
the US had any objection to their release, Toner said "both."

Toner said the US has concerns in the release of some of
the prisoners "whom the US Government deemed posing a threat
either to Israel or US interests".

He said the US was not part of any negotiations but
"we’ve communicated our position to the Israeli Government."

In a historic deal, more than 1000 Palestinian prisoners
would be released by Israel in exchange for the militant group
Hamas freeing Shalit after a five year captivity.

The first batch of 477 prisoners left Israeli jails
yesterday for Gaza and the West Bank.

PTI