Israel to Release Longtime Prisoners Amid Palestine Talks
Some have been 'in jail for decades': minister
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jul 20, 2013 7:18 AM CDT
Updated Jul 20, 2013 7:45 AM CDT
John Kerry arrives to board a flight to reach the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, July 19, 2013 in the Jordanian capital Amman.   (AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool)

(Newser) – With Israel-Palestine talks potentially beginning next week, Israel will release some "heavyweight (Palestinian) prisoners in jail for decades," says top minister Yuval Steinitz. Details are fuzzy, but it's possible 350 prisoners could be released over several months, a Palestinian official tells the BBC; some 100 of them have been in detention since before 1993. That's out of 4,817 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, by an Israeli human rights group's count.

The prisoners' release sees Israel taking action on one of three roadblocks standing in the way of talks, the New York Times notes. Palestine also wants negotiating to center on Israel's 1967 borders and is seeking a freeze on Israeli West Bank settlements. But "there is no chance that we will agree to enter any negotiations that begin with defining territorial borders or concessions by Israel, nor a construction freeze," Steinitz says. John Kerry has "gotten them into the pool," an expert tells the Times. "Right now they’re in the very shallow end, and they’re going to have to swim in deeper waters—and they can be treacherous."

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Showing 3 of 37 comments
Shootskas
Jul 21, 2013 1:30 PM CDT
John Kerry....the new messiah
1492
Jul 21, 2013 8:06 AM CDT
Here is the tough part for Israel. If God, through Abraham gave them from the Nile River to the Euprates River in Turkey to have and hold as their promised land....God, in addition to awarding Israel the land, confirmed that whosoever lived there had to vacate the land. God works in mysterious ways. For Jesus was a Palestianian Where does that put Israel?
1492
Jul 20, 2013 6:13 PM CDT
Here is the tough part for Israel. If God, through Abraham gave them from the Nile River to the Euprates River in Turkey to have and hold as their promised land....God, in addition to awarding Israel the land, confirmed that whosoever lived there had to vacate the land. The Jewish Torah is the First Testament. Genesis is its first book. Chapter 15:18 "Unto they seed I have given this land, from the River of Egypt unto the great River, the river Euprates. That covers a pretty large piece of real estate. Israel, Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Turkey to name a few. I personally saw, with my own eyes and drank from its fountain, the water that the Virgin drank from in Ephesus, Turkey. I was in the US Air Force and had no clue whatsoever that I was standing on the Promised Land. Ephesus is the last known home of the Virgin Mary. Put yourselves in Israel's place. If our Creator gave you the land, and there is written proof, it is yours. Others want your land, and you fight for it. It's an awful position to be in for the Muslim people do not believe what is written in the Bible. Therefore the constant battle. God said, kick their ass out! It's your land. Jesus said "love your neighbor". What are you to do? In comes John Kerry, Secretary of State United States of America to give a lending hand. 1492