Israel to release 26 Palestinians in mid August: Saeb Erekat

Negotiations began in Washington last week, and are to continue in Jerusalem next week.

Last Updated: Aug 04, 2013, 16:40 PM IST

Ramallah: The chief Palestinian negotiator says Israel will release the first of four groups of long-held Palestinian prisoners next week.

Israel has agreed in principle to release 104 veteran prisoners in a US-brokered deal that cleared the way toward resuming peace talks with the Palestinians after a five-year freeze.

Negotiations began in Washington last week, and are to continue in Jerusalem next week.

Negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement early today that 26 prisoners will be freed on August 13.

An Israeli government official declined comment.
The US wants a deal on the terms of a Palestinian state within nine months. The Palestinians fear Israel will seek only an interim agreement.

Erekat said in his statement that such a partial deal is unacceptable.

PTI