As part of a U.S.-backed proposal to restart peace talks, Israel has agreed to release an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners, but will not freeze settlement construction in the West Bank, a top Israeli official said Saturday.
The comments came a day after U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced that he was close to a formalizing an agreement to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table for the first time in three years.
Though Kerry pleaded with both sides to keep the details of the pending agreement confidential and allow him to be the only source of information, both sides scrambled Saturday to put their own spin on the deal. Since Kerry has declined to release specifics about what he says he brokered on Friday, the conflicting claims could not be confirmed.
For more on this story, visit: Israel reportedly OKs prisoner release, but not settlement freeze – latimes.com.
Israeli and Palestinian officials voiced skepticism yesterday that they can move toward a peace deal, as the sides inched toward what may be the first round of significant negotiations in five years.
For more on this story, visit: Peace deal has Israeli, Palestine leaders wary.