I understand, a little bit, why Israel is releasing Palestinian prisoners in order to bolster Mahmoud Abbas’ administration. But I can’t help wondering if that isn’t counter productive in non-obvious ways, beyond putting criminals on the street.
I note that one of the things that the Ba’ath did before the fall of Baghdad was to empty many prisons, an act which has contributed greatly to the power of the Caliphascist efforts there. I suppose Israel may view the situation as so lawless that a few more aren’t going to make much difference, but it still seems that it won’t contribute to the formation of a civil society in Palestine.
The other thing is that it seems to re-enforce the idea that being in jail is a matter of politics, not law. The prisoners were not released because they had been proven innocent or their sentences finished, but because it was politically convenient. This will encourage similar thinking about the people in Palestinian jails, which will make Abbas’ efforts (presuming he actually makes some) in reigning in the Caliphascist more difficult.