Palestinian news site al-Quds is reporting that Israel will release the 4th tranche of 26 Palestinian terrorists by Tuesday evening without the Palestinians making additional concessions to Israel.
“It seems that the efforts paid off and there will be a release of the prisoners,” the unnamed source said to be familiar with the negotiating process told the Palestinian news site.
Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that haggling on the issue could go on for “a number of days.”
Speaking at a meeting of Likud ministers, Netanyahu said that Israel would not make a deal to free the prisoners “without a clear benefit for Israel in return.” He acknowledged that negotiations to come to an agreement could potentially “blow up.”
Saeb Erekat, the PLO’s chief negotiator, said that both sides are still negotiating the scale and composition of the prisoner release, though he added that the Palestinians did not see any linkage between the release and the continuation of the negotiations.
Nonetheless, Palestinian sources in Ramallah told Israel Radio that there would be no discussion of future negotiations without the fourth installment of the prisoner release, which should include Israeli Arabs. The Israeli government has so far refused to consider freeing Israeli citizens convicted of terrorist acts.
On Shabbos, the United States charged Israel with violating the terms of the original agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinians at the start of talks nine months ago regarding terrorist releases.