Israel to free Palestinian prisoners

BY: Isaac Yeboah

US Secretary of State John Kerry Israel says it will release a number of Palestinian prisoners as part of an agreement made with US Secretary of State John Kerry to resume peace talks.

Yuval Steinitz, minister responsible for international relations, said it would involve "heavyweight prisoners in jail for decades".

Mr Kerry announced on Friday that initial talks would be held in Washington "in the next week or so".

The Israeli minister's remarks are the first details of the deal.

Mr Kerry had declined to tell reporters in Amman what the two sides had agreed to, saying that the "best way to give these negotiations a chance is to keep them private".

Mr Steinitz told Israeli public radio that the agreement adhered to the principles set out by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for kick-starting the talks.

The release of prisoners would take place in stages, he said.

For their part, the Palestinians had committed themselves to "serious negotiations" for a minimum of nine months, he said.

Source: BBC