Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • Nibali rides serenely toward a place in Tour history

    Read more

  • Germany's Tony Martin wins 20th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    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)