Prime Minister Netanyahu stated during his Sunday cabinet meeting that the fourth and final batch of Palestinian prisoners would not be released unless there was a ״clear benefit of return for Israel.”
Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian convicted terrorists in four phases in order for the Palestinians to agree to return to negotiations. So far, Israel has released 78 prisoners.
Netanyahu warned that negotiations with the Palestinians could “blow up” expressing concern that if Israel were to return the Palestinian prisoners, fourteen of which are Israeli Arabs, Palestinians would end negotiations with Israel. He stated that “It could be a matter of days. Either it resolves or implodes. In any case, there won’t be any deal without receiving something of clear value in return.”
An Israeli official explained, “Israel wants to see the continuation of the peace talks with the Palestinians, and is willing to implement the fourth release of convicted terrorists. But the Palestinians are making that very difficult when they say that immediately following the release, they will end the talks.”
Reports on Sunday from Palestinian sources claim that Israel would agree to release an additional 400 security prisoners if the Palestinian Authority were to agree to extend peace talks with Israel for an additional six months, as well as agree to not go to the United Nations and bypass negotiations in attempt to receive statehood recognition, a constant threat from Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.
Negotiations are currently set to end on April 29th.
Israeli Radio reported that Israel would agree to the additional prisoner release, however, the prisoners would be limited to the West Bank only.
Amir Tsarfati is the founder and president of Behold Israel, a news site to correct the scarcity in trustworthy reportage on issues and events impacting Israel, and to resolve the uncertainty about who or what to believe.
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