According to a report appearing in the daily Haaretz which quotes “Israeli and Western sources”, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is considering an additional prisoner release — another good-will gesture in the hope of earning a meeting with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). The report states that Mr. Netanyahu is considering an initial release of 25 murderers to be followed by 100 more by the end of 2012.
The sources confirm that Yitzchak Molcho, the prime minister’s personal representative has been in contact with the PA’s Dr. Saeb Erekat, a senior official in the ongoing talks. They have meet in the eastern capital at least once and the dialogue is reportedly continuing as the PA is more than willing to accept another terrorist prisoner release.
The sources quoted anonymously by Haaretz state that the prisoners that would be released have been convicted of murdering Israelis, adding the PA has set preconditions to a meeting with the prime minister, namely the release of 123 terrorists that have been imprisoned since before the signing of the Oslo Agreement in September 1993. The second precondition is Israel permits restocking PA security forces deployed throughout Yehuda and Shomron with new weapons. Reports signal the prime minister is considering meeting the two preconditions as he wishes to jumpstart the stalled diplomatic process with the PA.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)