Nation & World News

Israel Pledges To Release Some Palestinian Detainees

By Scott Neuman on July 21st, 2013

Israel said Saturday that it’s prepared to release a number of Palestinian prisoners following a breakthrough in talks brokered by Secretary of State John Kerry.

Yuval Steiniz, Israel’s intelligence and strategic affairs minister, said the release would involve “heavyweight prisoners in jail for decades”. He said the prisoners would be freed soon. (Note: the translation used by The Associated Press has it as “hardcore” instead of “heavyweight”).

The remarks follow an announcement Friday night by Kerry that Israeli and Palestinian officials would meet soon in Washington to work out the resumption of peace negotiations that broke down in 2008.

As NPR’s Emily Harris reports from Jerusalem, releasing long-term inmates from Israeli custody has been a key issue for Palestinian officials in order to restart talks. She reports that although the exact terms for resuming negotiations have yet to be formalized, minister Steiniz “says his government did not agree to stop Israeli settlements, or define future borders before negotiations start.”

Kerry, speaking in Amman, said the two sides had agreed in principle to restarting talks, but he declined to provide details. He told reporters that the “best way to give these negotiations a chance is to keep them private.”

Talks could resume in the next week or so “if everything goes as expected,” Kerry said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who met with Kerry on Friday, said in a statement that “some details still need to be worked out.”

On the release of Palestinian prisoners, the BBC reports:

“While the number of detainees to be freed is unclear, one Palestinian official said discussions had earlier focused on the release of 350 prisoners over a period of months, including around 100 men held since before 1993, when Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo peace accords.

According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, 4,817 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Women gather in the courtyard at the home of the two young victims' family in the village of Katra Sahadatganj in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.  India's largest state is under pressure to address atrocities against women.

Indian Investigators Deny Village Girls Were Raped, Murdered

Villagers said the two “untouchable” caste girls were gang-raped and then hanged from a tree in May, but the country’s equivalent of the FBI now says there was no rape and that they hanged themselves.


A closed circuit security camera shows Afghan security forces responding to an attack on a compound in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday.

Attacks In The Afghan Capital Kill 5

A suicide bomb attack on a British diplomatic vehicle killed five people, including a British national. Later, a blast and gunfire were heard in the city’s diplomatic area.


The lowest gas prices in years are seen Wednesday on a fuel sign in Lawrence, Kan. A day later, OPEC decided to maintain current production levels, virtually ensuring continued low prices at the pump.

OPEC Holds Production Steady, Signaling Lower Fuel Prices

Ministers of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting in Austria could not agree to cut production in an effort to stabilize global crude prices.


The Ferguson Public Library.

A Nationwide Outpouring Of Support For Tiny Ferguson Library

The Ferguson Public Library has become a refuge for community during a difficult time. In response, donations to the library have reached “several orders of magnitude” higher than ever.


Passengers Morgan Griffin, 20, left, and his brother, Eric Crandell 12, browse their mobile devices as they await to board The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner train bound to Santa Barbara, Calif., at Union Station in Los Angeles, on Wednesday. Snow and rain in the east has snarled holiday travel, but by Thanksgiving day, things looked to be improving.

Holiday Travel Snarls Look To Be Easing

AAA says some 46 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles for Thanksgiving — the largest number since 2007.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments