Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon reacted to news of the impending renewal of negotiations with the Palestinian Authoruty, painting the development as a success story.
"We arrive at the negotiations with clean hands, and out of a sincere desire to reach an arrangement in which we bring about an end to the conflict,” he said in a statement published by his bureau.
Yaalon added: “We insisted upon entering negotiations without preconditions, which included Palestinian demands for a declaration regarding [a return to pre-]1967 lines, a freeze of construction and a release of prisoners.
"The strong stand on this subject by the state of Israel, headed by [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu,” he said, “led to a situation in which the nations of the world, led by the United States, reached the conclusion that the best way to try and reach an arrangement will be through direct negotiations without preconditions."
Yaalon's deputy in the defense ministry, MK Danny Danon, said about the reports of an imminent release of terror prisoners as a “gesture” accompanying the start of negotiations: “We must learn from the mistakes of the past and not release terrorists with blood on their hands as a gesture or prize.”
"I trust the prime minister,” he said, “who knows that it is not possible to talk about a return to [pre-]1967 borders. We must not repeat the injustice of the Disengagement and uproot thousands of Jews from their homes.”