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Israel to release Palestinian prisoners as part of deal to revive peace talks


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Israel to release Palestinian prisoners as part of deal to revive peace talks

Israel has said it will release a number of Palestinian prisoners as part of an agreement to resume long-stalled peace talks.

The Israeli Minister for International Relations Yuval Steinitz said those to be released would include “heavyweight” prisoners who had been in jail for decades.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has been leading efforts to bring the two sides back to the negotiating table. Kerry said on Friday that the deal to restart talks was being “finalised” and initial meetings could begin in Washington “within the next week or so”.

Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon has suggested the revival of the peace process still faces major obstacles. Yaalon said Israel would not participate if preconditions included an acceptance of the Palestinians’ border demands.

The last direct talks between the two sides took place in 2010. They broke down over the issue of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.

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