Ministers to finalize list of first prisoners to face release

Committee to determine Sunday which prisoners will be released two days later. Meanwhile, US envoy Martin Indyk will land in Israel for preliminary talks with both sides

The ministerial committee that was formed some two weeks ago to compose the list of prisoners who are to be released as part of an Israeli gesture ahead of the resumption of negotiations is to convene for the first time on Sunday, when the committee will finalize a list of prisoners to be released on Tuesday.


The identity of the prisoners expected to be released remains unknown.


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US envoy Martin Indyk is scheduled to land in Israel on Sunday. During his visit, Indyk will hold talks with both sides ahead of formal negotiations.


The criteria by which the ministers are to determine which of the prisoners can be released were set by the Shin Bet, which prioritized the names of the prisoners according to the amount of threat they pose to Israeli security.


The Shin Bet lists will be presented to the ministerial committee on Sunday, and the names of the prisoners who are to be released will be published once the committee finalizes the list.


The State is required by law to publish the names in the Israel Prison Service website 48 hours prior to the release of the prisoners.


President Shimon Peres will most likely not be signing pardons, seeing as most of the security prisoners who will be released Tuesday will be Palestinians, in which case the release needs the approval of the IDF .


If all goes according to plan, negotiation teams will reconvene on Wednesday.


Ahead of Indyk's visit to the region, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry Saturday night, in which he accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of incitement against Israel.


PMO sources said that the letter mentioned quotes in which Abbas speaks against Israeli presence in the future Palestinian state, and additional quotes from the official Palestinian television broadcasts. "Incitement and peace cannot go hand in hand," Netanyahu wrote in the letter.


In another letter to Kerry, the chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Thursday that Israel's intention to build 1,000 new homes in settlements was an indication of "Israel's bad faith and lack of seriousness" in the talks. 


Yitzhak Benhorin and Moran Azulay contributed to this report.



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פרסום ראשון: 08.10.13, 19:43
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