Report: Israel to Freeze Building, Return to Negotiations
Israel will free some terrorist prisoners as part of a U.S.-brokered agreement that will make it possible for Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to resume negotiations for a peace deal, reports Maariv.
According to the report, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has agreed to perform a “goodwill gesture” and release an unspecified number of terror prisoners who have been in jail since before the signing of the Oslo Accords, by the time the Muslim Ramadan month starts on July 7.
In addition, according to Maariv, “the possibility that Netanyahu will pass a formal decision in the Cabinet freezing construction [for Jews] outside of the settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria is becoming more and more probable.”
PA head Mahmoud Abbas, for his part, will give up his preconditions for resuming negotiations with Israel. He has been insisting that such talks be based on the 1949 Armistice lines and that borders for a PA state be sketched in advance of the negotiations.
Western diplomatic sources told the newspaper that these are “decisive days in the American effort to bring about a resumption of negotiations.” They added that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry convinced each side to the conflict to make concessions that could be presented as achievments by the other side.