Israeli and Palestinian negotiators will resume long-stalled direct peace talks tomorrow, according to the State Department. It says both sides have accepted invitations from John Kerry to come to Washington "to formally resume direct final status negotiations." A department spokesperson says Kerry called Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas today and both agreed that the talks would "serve as an opportunity to develop a procedural work plan for how the parties can proceed with the negotiations in the coming months."
"Both leaders have demonstrated a willingness to make difficult decisions that have been instrumental in getting to this point," says Kerry in a statement. "We are grateful for their leadership." The carefully worded statement offers no details of the framework for the resumption of the talks that broke down five years ago, although both sides' positions are well known. The statement was released shortly after the Israeli Cabinet agreed to release 104 long-term Palestinian prisoners convicted of deadly attacks, meeting a longstanding Palestinian demand.