The Palestinian Authority has welcomed the Israeli decision to release 104 prisoners.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had to persuade his cabinet to vote in favour saying he knew it was “painful for the entire nation.” The move is aimed help restart peace talks scheduled to take place on Monday in Washington.
Many Israelis are angered by the decision. One Jerusalem resident said: “It’s the worst decision, both from a point of view of defence, not to mention justice. Murderers should not be released and freed, they should be killed.”
Family’s of the prisoners set to be released had mixed feelings. Amber Abu Sarhan, brother of a Palestinian prisoner said:“Today we are joyful at the news of the prisoner release, but we hope that this will not be in exchange for a painful price for the Palestinian cause.”
On the streets of Ramallah, many Palestinians demonstrated against the resumption of peace talks, anxious that Palestinian land may be given away as part of a peace deal.