Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

  • Live: Algerian jet with 116 on board 'crashes' in northern Mali

    Read more

  • ‘Many’ French passengers on board missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

Middle east

Israel scraps Palestinian prisoner release in blow to peace talks

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-03

Israel has cancelled plans to release Palestinian prisoners and has called for US-sponsored peace talks to be reviewed, an official said Thursday.

The official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters that Israeli negotiators had informed their Palestinian counterparts of the decision in an overnight meeting held in an effort to avert a collapse of the troubled talks.

The decision to scrap the planned release of a fourth batch of Palestinian prisoners came after Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour said Wednesday the territory had submitted official requests to join 15 UN conventions and treaties.

He said the move was a response to Israel’s failure to release the prisoners by the agreed Tuesday deadline.

Under a deal that re-launched peace talks last July, Israel promised to release 104 prisoners held since before the 1993 Oslo peace accords in exchange for a Palestinian agreement not to push for recognition of statehood at the United Nations.

“The Israelis breached that agreement when they did not release a fourth batch of prisoners by noon yesterday,” Mansour told FRANCE 24. “That is why we are doing what we are doing today.”

“If Israel wishes to provoke us further, then we will continue to seek the membership of other international treaties and agencies,” he said.

Kerry vows to continue peace efforts

The prisoner issue is an emotional one for Palestinians after decades of conflict with Israel. Palestinians generally view them as heroes, regardless of the reason for their imprisonment – even when their crimes have involved grisly killings. Israelis mostly view them as terrorists because of their attacks on civilians.

The impasse over the prisoners throws further doubts about the outcome of the US-led peace negotiations helmed by Secretary of State John Kerry. The talks had been scheduled to last until late April, but now both sides appear to have hardened their positions while questioning the effectiveness of Kerry’s efforts.

Speaking earlier Thursday during a visit to Algeria, Kerry called it a “critical moment” for the peace process and vowed to continue his efforts “no matter what.”

“You can facilitate, you can push, you can nudge, but the parties themselves have to make fundamental decisions and compromises,” Kerry said. “The leaders have to lead and they have to be able to see a moment when it’s there.”

He recalled the old adage that you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink.

“Now is the time to drink,” Kerry said. “The leaders need to know that.”

(FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-04-03

  • ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

    Palestinians renew UN push after Israel delays prisoner release

    Read more

  • ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT

    Palestinian prisoner release delayed, officials say

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    Obama urges Abbas to take ‘risks’ to break stalemate with Israel

    Read more

COMMENT(S)