Standoff Over Prisoner Release Threatens Mideast Talks


palestinian-terrorist-prisonersThe Israeli-Palestinian peace talks revived by Washington last summer are scheduled to continue until April 29, but a showdown is likely this week over the release of a fourth batch of Palestinian prisoners. A growing number of Israeli leaders have threatened to halt the release unless the talks are extended.

The problem is further complicated by PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ demand that Arab-Israeli prisoners be included, something the Israelis insist they never agreed to and vigorously oppose.

Secretary of State John Kerry’s initial goal of having the two sides reach a final-status agreement during the nine-month talks was abandoned long ago, and the framework outlining core principles of a deal that he has been pressing for the past two months has now been all but shelved.

Israel committed to freeing 104 long-serving prisoners in exchange for a Palestinian vow to refrain from pressing for statehood through UN organizations. But without a promise to extend the talks, Israeli ministers, including Tzipi Livni, the prime promoter of the peace process, see little point in releasing more prisoners only to have Abbas take the international steps a few weeks later.

To those who say the Israelis are balking on a promise, Israeli leaders argue that the release was to be a result of nine months of negotiations, which have not really taken place: The last substantive meeting between the sides was in November. There was never an “automatic commitment to release prisoners unrelated to progress in negotiations,” Livni said last week.

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. Standoff???
    Who’s not keeping their part of the deal?
    Is Israel obliged to release killers with nothing extended in return? Voo Shtait?

  2. YOU aint making peace with bnei Yismael-muslims no matter how much land you give them, even the entire Israel

    i.e. they have a command they believe to kill jews R”L