JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israel early Monday began releasing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who are aligned with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, as part of a goodwill gesture.
Israeli authorities said none of the approximately 445 detainees -- members of Abbas' Fatah party -- had been implicated in deadly attacks against Israelis.
The detainees were being placed on buses at a prison in the Negev desert early Monday.
They were bound for Ramallah in the West Bank. Watch the scene as the detainees arrive in the West Bank »
Israel freed more than 250 Palestinian detainees in July and another 86 in October. An estimated 11,000 Palestinians are still held in Israeli prisons.
In October, a government spokesman described the releases as part of the "Israeli government policy of strengthening the moderates" in the Palestinian territories.
Abbas has been involved in a political power struggle against Gaza-based leaders of Hamas, a rival movement that Israel considers terrorist. Hamas is in charge of the Palestinian government in Gaza and calls for the destruction of Israel.
In a summit last week in Annapolis, Maryland, Abbas and Israeli President Ehud Olmert agreed to work toward a Palestinian state over the next year.
Officials in the Bush administration said at the time they hoped the summit would lead to strengthening of the Abbas government's infrastructure after the split between Fatah and Hamas. Hamas leader Ismail Haniya denounced the summit.
In a separate development, Israeli troops shot and killed three Palestinian militants who first opened fire on them in Gaza early Monday, an Israel Defense Forces spokesman said.
Hamas security sources said the men were members of the Hamas military wing. E-mail to a friend
CNN's Shira Medding contributed to this report.
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