Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Iraqi Sunnis quit govt talks after mosque massacre

    Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • US rights group sues government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Middle east

Plan to release Palestinian prisoners riles Israeli right

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-10-28

Israel’s plan to free 26 Palestinian prisoners early Wednesday as part of revived peace talks has provoked anger among Israeli hardliners. Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s simultaneous announcement of new settlement homes has angered Palestinians.

Israel is preparing to release 26 Palestinian prisoners early Wednesday morning as part of the peace talks that were renewed this summer, according to a statement by the Israeli government on Sunday.

The list of prisoners, all of them serving sentences in connection with the killings of 30 Israelis in attacks carried out before the 1993 Oslo Accords, was published early Monday morning on the website of the Israeli Prisoner Service.

Twenty-one of the prisoners are from the West Bank and five from the Gaza Strip. They all have served sentences ranging from 19 to 28 years.

The longest-serving prisoner to be released is Issa Abed Rabbo, who was convicted of murdering Israeli university students Revital Seri and Ron Levy, while they were hiking south of Jerusalem in 1984. Abed Rabbo was arrested and tried soon after, and has been incarcerated ever since.

According to Israeli media reports, most of the other Palestinians and Arab Israelis sent to prison before the Oslo Accords were involved in attacks that resulted in Israeli deaths. Israel’s government has warned that released prisoners who take up activities deemed “hostile” to Israel will return to prison to serve out the remainder of their terms.

Two days before peace talks re-opened on July 30, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would release 104 Palestinian prisoners progressively if negotiations proceeded.

New settlement homes to appease Israeli right?

The announcement was met with some resistance in Israel, particularly among families of victims killed by terrorist acts attributed to Palestinians. More than a thousand Israelis on Monday night took to the street outside Ofer Jail in the West Bank, where the prisoners are being held, holding up pictures of slain friends and relatives.

The news has also riled certain Israeli politicians on the right. The Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi), an ultra-nationalist and religious right-wing party, on Sunday filed a motion to block the release of the prisoners it considers terrorists. The motion was rejected.

During the first part of the prisoner release in August, Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel, a member of the Jewish Home party, noted that he did not understand how “releasing prisoners could help peace”.

Netanyahu also announced plans for new Israeli settlement homes over the weekend, a move that Israeli media has painted as an attempt to placate his critics on the right. A high-ranking Israeli official told Agence France-Presse last Thursday that “the Americans and the Palestinians knew of this arrangement in advance”.

Palestinian leaders have firmly denied accepting the construction of new homes in Israeli settlements in exchange for the release of prisoners. “Creating a link between the release of a new group of prisoners and the announcement of thousands of new settlement homes goes against all the engagements taken before the negotiations,” Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top negotiator and member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO).

Palestinian negotiators have argued that the pursuit of new settlements in the West Bank caused the breakdown of the previous peace talks in September 2010.

 

Date created : 2013-10-28

  • ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Israel strikes north Gaza after rocket fire

    Read more

  • ISRAEL - WEST BANK

    Israeli troops manhandle EU envoys in West Bank

    Read more

  • ISRAELI – PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

    Hopes of Oslo Accords unfulfilled 20 years on

    Read more

COMMENT(S)